Roads a ‘wake up’ call


Dunkirk penny-pinching has come to a head!

This past Thanksgiving, after eating a wonderful meal that my wife prepared, I sat down to share in the company of my family. As the day progressed, we could see that the weather was getting worse and the snow continued to fall. We had been alerted a few days prior that a storm was headed our way, so it should have come as no surprise to anyone.

I live on Route 5 within the Dunkirk city limits. The only plow I saw that whole time was one of the county trucks and one of the town of Dunkirk trucks. Thank goodness they happened to have their plows down while they were passing through so that they could clear some of the snow off the city’s main thoroughfare.

Halfway through the evening, I noticed that a salt truck was in our area. Why didn’t he start earlier? Before the snow started falling? Everyone knew snow was coming.

I have owned a private snowplowing business for over 30 years. In my opinion, salting after there is already a few inches of snow on the ground is a waste of time and materials. I also heard from a reliable source that they were only supposed to salt in the first and fourth wards. Why not the whole city? It wasn’t just snowing in the first and fourth wards!

I went to bed early that night, knowing that I had to be up by 2 a.m. to start plowing my customers. I completed my route by 7:30 a.m. I start in Dunkirk, head to Fredonia, and then swing back through Dunkirk. The only plow trucks I saw again were the county trucks and the Fredonia trucks.

The county roads and the Fredonia streets had all been plowed at least once by this time. But Dunkirk? Not a plow to be seen. Finally on my way home (at 7:30 a.m.) I saw a city truck, but it was a garbage truck! I pulled up alongside them and asked them if they knew where the plow trucks were. I was told they didn’t start until 7 a.m. Are you kidding me? Isn’t this a safety issue? It started snowing early Thursday afternoon, and the plows weren’t out until Friday at 7 a.m.?

Maybe our city leaders wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to snow anymore? What a joke! I understand that some of the council members question department heads on their spending, but this was a no-brainer.

I really don’t think that any city residents would have complained that our city workers were out plowing on a holiday, making our streets safe to travel. I also don’t think our city workers would have been happy to have to leave the warmth of their homes and their families on a holiday to go plow, but they would have done it, because that’s what they do! They know it’s their job and they are good at what they do!

It’s time for the mayor and council to wake up! This isn’t your first year in office! If you keep this up, I’m pretty sure you won’t be running unopposed in the next election.

Bob Bankoski is a Dunkirk resident.