The Saratoga Sun -

Council assesses winter road maintenance

Council makes Range View Avenue a priority after near tragedy

 


At the Dec. 2 Saratoga Town Council meeting, the council and City Engineer, Planning and Zoning Officer Chuck Bartlett discussed options for winter road maintenance.

The discussion started when resident Lance Grubb addressed the council about a Nov. 14 accident where his son, Matthew, was run over after a car slid down Range View Avenue into the Grubb’s driveway. Police did not cite the driver for the accident as poor road conditions were to blame.

“I am actually very thankful for all of the help ... ” Grubb said. “I think we can do better as a town, but I am pleased for the most part with what the town does. I personally believe it just one of those things that’s taken a lesser priority over the last couple of years. I realize everybody’s busy and spread thin … I would hate to see any other parent in the situation my family was in.”

Grubb requested the town “keep an eye,” on the hill at the north end of Range View Avenue and make sure it is sanded.

Bartlett suggested that the road be closed to through traffic for the winter. He cited the temperature sensitivity of the de-icing medium that the town uses. “ … with our ice slicer it takes a certain temperature for that material to work. Even when it does start to work, if it cools down below the point, you are going to have water on the street that’s going to freeze right back up and it is going to be just as slick. That’s my concern.” Bartlett said.

Grubb said, “I’d hate to see it closed. It is my opinion that in my life, my grandfather built that house, I’ve spent my whole life in that area, I think it’s maintainable. I realize that there is an order that things need to be done with bus routes and heavily trafficked areas first. That makes sense to me.”

Councilwoman Judy Welton said she agreed with Grubb and does not want to see the road closed. Councilwoman Susan Howe noted that there are several hills in town similar to the north end of Range View Avenue and that it may impractical to close them for the winter. Zeiger recalled the hill being closed and sledding on it when he was a child.

Councilman Steve Wilcoxson said he was not opposed to the idea of closing roads so long as residents have a way to get to their homes. Wilcoxson said he puts stock in the city engineer’s recommendations but would be willing to follow the group consensus of the council.

Mayor-elect Ed Glode said he would like to see a review of the town’s snow removal prioritization and the town may need an additional truck capable of carrying a sanding unit.

Bartlett said the town currently has two sanding units that can be mounted on dump trucks. Usually only one sanding unit is mounted as the town’s second dump truck is needed for other types of maintenance such as sewer and street repairs.

At the end of the discussion a motion was made to close the north end of Range View Ave. for the winter. The motion died for lack of a second.

Zeiger then instructed Bartlett to move the road up on the priority list and keep it sanded as well as possible.

 

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