EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

February 13, 2013

Council OK's $500K storm bill

(Continued)

In future storms, Ryan said the mayor should consider sending a vehicle with a loudspeaker through those neighborhoods to implore people to move their vehicles off the street. Knocking on doors could be another option, he said.

Another new strategy the city used in the storm, the mayor said, was establishing centralized places for people who don't have off-street parking to park. For instance, several schools and churches offered public parking in their lots during the storm, Fiorentini said.

"Our biggest challenge was sidewalks, especially in the inner city where people weren't able to get their cars off the street," the mayor said. "We have two sidewalk plows, but we just can't get to every sidewalk. The only way to do better is for people to shovel sidewalks in front of their homes."

The mayor said the city has an ordinance that allows police to ticket people who don't clear sidewalks in front of their property of snow, but that it has never been used.

"We don't want elderly resident shoveling because they are worried about a ticket," he said. "But we need neighbors to help neighbors."

Overall, the mayor said only about 40 Haverhill homes lost electricity as a result of the storm.

"Our position on any of these storms is to do whatever we have to do to keep the roads plowed, and we'll worry about how we'll pay for it later," the mayor said. "The residents of Haverhill overwhelmingly complied with my request to keep their cars off the street, and they complied with the governor's order not to drive. They should be commended for that as should our DPW worker who did a terrific job."

Haverhill's spending for snow and ice removal the past four winters:

2011-2012: $662,658

2010-2011: $2.2 million

2009-2010: $1.1 million

2009-2010: $2.1 million

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