by Lisa Tome
According to the Cecilton town code, residents are supposed to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowfall.
Nobody enforces it.
In fact, those who should enforce it are among those hoping to clear the walks.
Town of Cecilton maintenance supervisor Jay Paxson said the town is responsible for plowing about six miles of road including the library, Head Start parking lot, wastewater and water plant access.
Town Clerk Kim Roland and Paxson said the town handles clearing the walks due to the large number of elderly and handicapped residents.
Town councilman Robert Boulden clears walks around Center Street. Town councilmen Craig DeVary and Mike Cooper also help clear walks. Paxson said that Mayor Joe Zang also clears walks in front of homes of some seniors and handicapped people.
"Some residents do help and do in front of their home and their neighbor's homes," said Paxson. "That makes you feel good in a winter like this." He uses a small plow and a snowblower on the walks.
Many of the town children walk to school. That's why Paxson and the volunteers tend the walks so closely.
Charlestown town administrator Wib Pumpaly has also plowed snow this year. "I didn't have experience but I plowed for 8, 10, or 12 hour stretches. I haven't hit a car yet but I hit a trash can the other day," said Pumpaly.
He said that in small towns such as Charlestown, when there is just a two man-crew, he believes his place is helping to clear the streets.
"I believe I should be out there helping them," he said. "I know we're over budget on salt, sand, and manpower," added Pumpaly.
North East Mayor Robert McKnight agrees. When the weather is bad, McKnight can be found in the seat of a truck plowing the town's streets.
"I didn't plow in the last snow but I did help in the one prior. I volunteered. We were short on manpower," said McKnight.
"That is not unusual. This is not a sit behind a desk job. I try not to take money out of our men's pockets, but when they are plowing 24 hours a day, they can use the help," he said.
McKnight said he isn't the only town staffer who will man a plow if needed.
"Melissa (town administrator Melissa Cook-MacKenzie) is always available too. It's not the norm but she will do it (plow) if needed," added McKnight.