|By Jen Bondeson, The Frederick News-Post, Md.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
It was a few days after 14 inches of snow had fallen in February, he said, and the area near his business,
A city snowplow must have taken the mailboxes out, he said.
Taylor dug around in a snowbank and pulled out one of the mailboxes. He found the other one a few days later, in another snow pile about 10 yards away. Mail was scattered across the bank.
The plowing, salting, slipping and sliding during
Employees were brought in at all hours of the day and night to clear emergency routes, streets and sidewalks. During their long overtime shifts, they backed into a garage, a
Accidents will happen, Mayor
The back-to-back nature of the storms made for unusual work shifts. An employee could work a normal day job, then be called in at night to plow, McClement said.
The storms "were just topsy-turvy for their internal systems," he said.
The longer employees were out there, the more tired they'd get, and the more the chance of a crash increased, McClement said.
Training and teamwork
With the higher-than-average number of storms this winter,
But they didn't, he said.
Drivers are trained in the summer during what the city and county refer to as a "snowplow rodeo."
It's good training, but not quite the same as doing the work during a real weather event, McClement said.
The storms wore on the employees, said
This isn't their day job. The city pulls any employee with a commercial driver's license or who passes a plow-driving test to help out during the storms, Twigg said.
The city has 45 employees with commercial licenses and about 80 others who have passed a test to drive regular trucks, he said.
While the attitudes of employees are always pretty good, by March, the work was getting old, Twigg said.
"They were ready for winter to end."
To get through it all, the employees banded together, Twigg said.
"You hear them on the radio, 'I'm done in area 12, does anybody need a hand?'" Twigg said. "All the sudden, you hear these guys helping each other ... it's a team effort."
Paying for stormsFrederick County spent
The city of
In addition to the snow budget, she said, the cost for paying employees who switched jobs to plow and de-ice streets totaled about
The mayor and board won't have to worry about finding revenue to make up for the shortfall, as the city will shuffle money around, Barkdoll said.
"In a case where we have a bad winter, it is not unusual" to move funds, she said.
The city will not repay Taylor for his damaged mailboxes, he said, because of a rule he doesn't think is very fair.
"It's kind of like when the tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, it didn't happen," he said. "That is the policy. If you didn't see it happen, it didn't happen."
But Taylor's explanation, for the most part, is true, Patton said.
"If they didn't see it, most likely, it is going to be denied."
(c)2014 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)
Visit The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.) at www.fredericknewspost.com
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