Snow removal from the car-focused part of Village of New Paltz streets has long been the purview of public works employees, who are expected to be on the roads when no one else should in order to keep traffic moving regardless of the weather. These are a different breed of white knights, riding their enormous steeds — sturdy municipal trucks — along each and every road within village limits to provide safe passage on all of them. Until now, those trucks have been seen by most as only equipment, but they will soon be getting names of their own.
With a tip of the hat to the Minnesotan leaders who came up with the idea (www.dot.state.mn.us/nameasnowplow), Mayor Tim Rogers has announced a contest to come up with names for the nine trucks. Pictures of each of them have been posted on the village website, to help residents get a sense of their personalities. Each of the trucks has the size and power needed for a particular route, as village roads require different approaches. Rogers has said that suggestions sent to email@example.com will be reviewed for appropriateness before any decisions are made.
One of those names won’t be in play for long: there’s a 1998 Chevrolet that is long overdue for replacement. The last of the 20th-century trucks in the fleet is a testament to the care with which equipment is maintained, but when Rogers took trustees into the adjacent garage bay to look it over during the December 7 meeting, it was clear that rust and age have taken a massive toll. Parts for heavy trucks of this age must be found on the secondary market, and public works mechanic Joe Granieri is keeping this truck running, but only barely. In recent years Granieri’s time repairing heavy equipment has been considerable, and Rogers believes that there’s a limit to how cost-effective it is to try to keep old vehicles running.
Since being in office, the mayor has worked on replacing public works vehicles by prioritizing impact, and an order is now being placed to obtain a new truck to replace this old Chevy. Rogers considers the $312,298 purchase price to be a sound investment in community safety, but it won’t be delivered until 2024, which means Granieri has two more winters through which to keep the old one running.
It’s not clear if the replacement truck will be given a new name.
To see pictures if the nine trucks, visit www.villageofnewpaltz.org/capital-planning-naming-trucks-contest. The submission deadline is Friday, December 31 at 11:59 p.m.
To enter the contest, visit https://forms.gle/QqHa4QNgS5AzrjAu9
Village snow ordinance
New Paltz Village ordinance for snow and ice removal, prohibits parking vehicles on village streets and parking lots from the time the accumulation of snow reaches a level of at least two inches until the street or parking lot has been fully plowed by the Department of Public Works. The ordinance also requires that residents and businesses clear their sidewalks of snow and ice to a minimum width of 30 inches within 24 hours after cessation of every fall of snow.
To help get vehicles off village streets during, free overnight parking is available before storms and for 24 hours after the snow has stopped in the Huguenot Street municipal lot that leads to the Gardens for Nutrition and the village sewer plant. The lot currently includes 29 spaces that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The DPW will begin plowing the Huguenot Street lot 24 hours after the snow has stopped and any vehicles still in the lot at that time will risk being ticketed and towed.
For additional information, visit https://www.villageofnewpaltz.org/village-snow-ordinance-parking-during-snowstorms/.