Ice jams keep city workers on the move

JOHNSTOWN — The city Department of Public Works was busy recently handling ice jams and flooding of city creeks.

City Engineer Christopher Vose reported to the Common Council Tuesday at City Hall that some warmer weather, and overnight rains, recently caused some problems in the city.

“We’ve been chasing ice jams all day,” he stated.

Vose said city crews responded to some flooding incidents, including at North East Avenue. He said Fulton County also assisted the city.

On North Chase Street, he said DPW also took ice out of creeks.

Vose also reported the city will be doing a resubmission for a grant application seeking funding to work on the deteriorating West State Street Bridge. Originally, he said just some deck work was planned, now his ßthinking is to replace the entire bridge.

The city engineer also reported his office is revisiting a possible initiative first discussed last summer to brighten, replace and modernize all the city’s street lights with the help of National Grid. Vose said a cost estimate is needed from National Grid.

“Hopefully, we’ll start getting something going in the next month,” Vose said.

He said last summer city street lights could be replaced with more modern 60 to 120-watt LED lights. The city would take ownership of the arms and lights, but National Grid would still own poles.

In other reports before the council:

∫ Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said the fire department received 78 calls in January, which included three structure fires and 10 motor vehicle accidents. He reported the Codes Division issued 26 permits in January for projects with a potential construction cost of $56,475. Permit fees collected for projects was $1,104.

“We actually have several [possible code violation] cases before the court system,” Heberer said.

Heberer noted the Johnstown Fireman’s Ball will be at 6 p.m. March 10 at the Holiday Inn. He said the event, costing $20 per ticket, is open to the public. Funds go to a charity fund, he said, which partially helps people burned out of their homes.

Tickets are available at the fire station or from fire union members, Heberer said.

∫ Police Chief David Gilbo said the police department handled 838 calls for service in January. Police made 73 arrests during the month, handled 113 criminal cases, issued 223 citations, issued 80 traffic tickets and investigated 48 motor vehicle accidents.

Gilbo said two officers did training as new hires. Two officers were sent to breath test training. The chief said all four police supervisors will also be receiving basic supervisor’s school.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at