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Brick's Snow Removal Plan Different for 2012

This winter, the township's snow removal plan was reworked

After a weekend when temperatures reached the mid-60s, snow is probably the last thing on the minds of Brick residents who are "thinking spring." But a long winter ahead brings with it the possibility of chilly temperatures and winter storms – and officials say the township is better prepared than ever this year.

"It was obvious to us that we had to secure more equipment," after the Dec. 26, 2010 blizzard, said township Business Administrator Scott Pezarras.

During that storm, some residents had to wait days to have their streets plowed. That caused a political uproar that resulted in the formation of a committee headed by former Councilman Michael Thulen to determine how the township could better respond to storms in the future. But while a portion of the committee's work focused on communication and organization strategies, at the end of the day – or, rather, when the first snow flake falls – officials largely agreed that equipment is key.

To that end, the township reworked its contract with plow contractors to up the minimum number trucks that should be on the road during a storm. During the blizzard, contractors operated the minimum number of equipment pieces they were obligated to keep in town at all times, but when extra equipment beyond that minimum was sent out of Brick, the plowing operations were delayed. This season, a minimum of 77 pieces of plowing equipment will be on the road during storms, including 26 pieces of township-owned equipment.

When private contractors are called in this year, Pezarras said, they'll work in 12 hour shifts concurrent with the shifts of Brick employees.

Pezarras said the township normally budgets between $750,000 and $850,000 per year for snow removal. Last year's blizzard busted the budget wide open; the storm dropped 34 inches of snow on Brick and cost the township $1,019,000. The amount budgeted for the season usually covers four or five storms that produce 4 to 8 inches of snow, Pezarras said.

Given the increased number of plows on the road this season, Pezarras said he estimates the cleanup effort for an average storm – one of those 4 to 8 inch affairs – would take about 12 hours to complete.

Billy January 09, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Mickey January 09, 2012 at 08:39 PM
we realize Brick got pounded by a tremendous storm, DPW got sent home the night before and were unable to get out of their homes, as were the rest of us...but then came the accusations of a sick out as well as other excuses. you've never come on here before to weigh in on any other discussion... be it appointing council members children to the Housing Authority, offensive raises handed out, TC salaries or benefits, ect.....now, voted off the TC we hear from you....interesting.
Mickey January 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I believe he's referring to keeping the streets as clear as possible of cars during a storm.
Billy January 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Ohhh, Thanks Mickey. :)
Lori Morrison January 09, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Me, If they kept them at DPW, then they would have to pay them.
Lori Morrison January 09, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Mr. Thulen, The best thing the Township can do to try to avoid something like this from happening again is to service all the equipment and make sure it is working and able to operate. There were Many pieces of equipment that either was not able to operate because of lack of needed repairs or it broke down.
Lori Morrison January 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM
You are correct, it did cause issues with many neighborhoods.
BW January 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Lori, think I would rather pay them, then have them killed going home in those dangerous conditions. I am pretty sure if they were asked if they wanted to sit it out at pw off the books or risk their lives going home, they would have chose to sit it out, at least that is what my neighbor said, but he said they were not given an option, they were told to go home and come back at 6 am. You see how that plan worked out.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 09, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I agree 100%. They had a warm place, toilets and I'm sure something to eat. They probably lost 24 plus working/clearing hours sending the employees home.
Concerned Brick Citizen January 09, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Police need to fine people who keep their cars on the street. There were no excuses for anyone to be driving around in this storm. The storm was extremely bad. It was an emergency situation. No one should have been driving even if they were not at home. Stay at your work! Have any of you ever been stranded at an airport or another place due to weather. I have. It is a big inconvenience, but you are safe and not blocking the streets for work crews. Remain safe and don't be a marter trying to return home or go to work when you know conditions are going to be grave.
Mickey January 09, 2012 at 09:45 PM
they sent them home to avoid paying OT. then the storm bogged down over Brick dumping 34 inches. I could understand their initial plan. trying to save money, but the next morning I can't imagine how any township worker could get down their street when mine was impassable for 3 days. but someone else had to be blamed... so out came the "sick out" story. we all read it, saw it on u-tube and amazed that a public apology was never given to those workers. people remember, that's just another reason those 4 got booted from office.
Denny D January 09, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Whatever happened to telling the truth? People lie right to your face and then deny it. Then they get indignant when called to task on it. You wonder why voters are so contemptuous of politicians? Sad state of affairs!
Mommyof3 January 09, 2012 at 10:20 PM
This storm was no big surpise and there was enough news coverage warning everyone. This town should of been better prepared! If not for the day after Christmas storm, at least for the next snow storm that we had! My husband lost at least 3 days of work because our street wasn't plowed! And I'm talking about the 2nd storm...the one in Jan!! Also I've said it before and I'll say it again....this town needs to pass a law to STOP cars from parking on the streets overnight...if not every night, then at least when there's snow! I have neighbors that have plenty of room for their cars in the driveway, but still park their cars in the street. There's also at least 3 cars on my street that haven't moved in YEARS!!! Flat tires, expire registrations ect.
BW January 09, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Did you call the police and complain? I have a relative that works in Howell. They said during the storms if there was a car on the street, they plowed up to the car and called police headquarters and the police sent out a tow truck.
IGGY January 09, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Men were sent home to avoid overtime pay...............contractors sat in the PW yard for hours at $95 an hour each waiting for the ok to leave. The men from the first shift were done...............no one left to work second shift. The cost was $ 900,000 for the storm, your tax dollars at work. They waited too long to send trucks out, that's why the got stuck.
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 09, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Me, sorry, but you're wrong on this one. I distinctly remember Route 70 near the Herbertsville Road intersection being practically impassable days after the storm last year. Route 35, another state road, was another disaster.
BW January 09, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Dan rt 70 from Princeton/88 had 1 lane plowed and passable. Sharrock was bad, but I made it to 4 seasons for work. And as I said on tuesday I picke my nephew up at walmart an drove down 88, it was plowed but was no shoulder. Princeton and Jordan were down to the pavement by tuesday morning. I will take your word for Herbertsville because I hardly travel that way, and did not have occasion to go that way after storm. The point is by tuesday night TR was 90% done and Howell was 95% (i have relatives that work in both towns), yet in Brick by Friday there were still streets in Brick not plowed, and they had to cancel school the 1st day back because there were still unplowed streets.
Mike Thulen January 09, 2012 at 11:56 PM
To mickey, the reason I responded now, I was mentioned in the article and you wanted to know when my committee would report out. I have commented on several articles over the last year. I have made a point not to comment often though because of the bickering that happens on this forum generally with no resolve. Now that I am no longer a Councilman, my intention will be to give the facts and my opinion on issues, but I refuse to get down in the mud with those who want to just bash out at anyone with no regard to the facts or who are just out to hurt people. Yes my son is on the Housing Authority. I did not nominate him or vote for him. The Housing Authority members receive no compensation for all the wonderful work they do. My son has served over three years on the Authority and already has been voted as the Chairman for a year. These members have to take classes on there on time and are audited yearly by the Federal Government.
Mike Thulen January 09, 2012 at 11:58 PM
. I was elected three times over a eighteen years, I received a salary and benefits during that time. This program was set up long before I was elected, I never asked for a raise or gave a raise to anyone during my stay on the Council. I voted on what I believe were fair contracts for the taxpayers and the employees of the Township. Lastly people have spoken today as if the position of Councilman could have any effect during the storm. The reason for the ad hoc committee was that we can only review and make recommendation to Administration. During the storm the Office of Emergency Management is in charge, the Chief of Police reported back to the committee as well as the Department of Public Works and the Mayors Administration. Changes have been made and hopefully for the better.
Mickey January 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM
as of Nov 11'...changes have been made.....for the better
Reality January 10, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Mommy of 3 - Perhaps you live in my neighborhood?! There is an ordinace on the books in Brick that says all cars must be removed from the street during a snowstorm. The township and police refuse to enforce it and fine these bozos. Even though parking one's cars in the street makes it next to impossible for the streets to be plowed in many neighborhoods. I hope the new council members do something about this problem.
Dominick Rappoccio January 10, 2012 at 03:32 AM
All the bickering on who is to blame is for naught! I drove up from Virginia on that day. There was no snow in Virginia. There was no snow in Maryland. No snow in Delaware. No snow entering NJ until we were part way home on Route 70. As we approached Brick we noticed a massive amount of snow had fallen in Brick. With taxpayer unwilling to shell out more money in property taxes, the new council members are not even thinking about snow storms being a priority.
Reality January 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Dominick - But it's so obvious why the ordinance needs to be enforced. It is costing ALL taxpayers more money by not enforcing it. It obviously takes longer for the plows to work around the cars left on the street. So it obviously costs ALL taxpayers more money. Start fining these selfish people if they insist on leaving their cars on the street.
Mickey January 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM
if all the driveway newspapers, APP, the Patch, channel 20, and TC meetings stated the importance and reason for not allowing cars to be parked on the streets during snowfall & the penalties...there would be no excuse for anyone not following the oridance. I'm sure township code enforcement could drive about in 4 wheel vehicles monitoring the streets.. a quick snap shot of the plate & the ticket could be mailed the next day or two. I don't think the cops would have that much time during a storm to devote to this enforcement. once word spread that there was a cost factor for parking in the street, things would improve.
Lori Morrison January 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Reality, There was a problem with plowing on my street because of cars parked in the street. One homeowner had two unregistered vehicles on the road along with his SUV. I talked to Dan Toth, and give the devil his due, he did respond to my concerns and the vehicles were removed. Mr. Rappoccio, Taxpayers may not want to pay more in property taxes, but other than the school taxes and the referendum that took place AFTER the snow season, we have no choice. I do hope that the 2012 council makes sure that public works has the funds necessary to take care of the equipment, not like last year.
IGGY January 10, 2012 at 02:31 PM
There will be no more PW after the new layoff plan is put in place in the near future. Steveo and he buddies are working on a layoff plan at this very moment, as the answer to cutting the taxes 24% .
Dominick Rappoccio January 10, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I have no problem fining people who leave their cars on streets during a snow storm. That will help - but major snow storm don't occur every year. Is it better to pay a lump sum to remove large snow falls every few year or buy equipment that will sit idle rusting, has to be maintained and stored outside by public works, and replace by township every after just a few years. It's a hard one to call.
IGGY January 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
You buy the trucks that you can use throut the year.............you can't afford equipment that is only used for plowing. You must buy multi - task vehicles, like we always purchased in the past. Instead of a splash park, worry about what is really needed to kepp the roads clear, and what is really needed for the PW's people to maintain our roads and services for the citizens of Brick. We should study the past practices, and how sucessful they were then...........maybe we should listen to our employee's who have been doing the job over the past 25 years, and get their input for the future.
disgusted homeowner January 11, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Agreed. How many homeowners get the robo call asking you to remove ANYTHING AND I MEAN ANYTHING from the streets, cars, trailers, basketball hoops, etc. and they just DON'T DO IT. How many folks leave their robo cans in the street 7 days a week and never take them in. Come on folks, cooperate and when you do know a storm is coming get your sh---- off the streets so our public works guys can do their job!!!!!!!!!!
disgusted homeowner January 11, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Reality, you're right. There's an ordinance on the books and the cops don't enforce it when called. The problem exists on my dead end street as well and the same people, time and time again won't move their stuff, cars or whatever from the street. None have ever received a summons and probably never will. Ps they all have large driveways!!!!!


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