Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowed In; School Update

Day 3 of Atlanta Snowstorm 2011 and the roads aren't much better than they were on Monday.  Some want to blame the City of Dunwoody for not being more prepared, but let's get serious.  This is a small city with a limited budget, and having snow plows on standby is not realistic, nor is it the best use of our tax dollars.  A couple of sand spreaders is about the best we can expect.
I was out and about on the streets on Monday afternoon, in Doraville and Norcross as well as Dunwoody, and the roads in all three municipalities mirrored one another.  And certainly the City of Atlanta, as a whole, hasn't fared any better.
The State of Georgia says it hopes to clear all major thoroughfares by the end of the business day.
The good news - the mail was delivered today - thanks Pat (best mailman in the business)!

School Update

The DeKalb County School System public input meeting that was scheduled for this week has been posponed.  Below is a look at the revised schedule.

Tue., 1/18; (Miller Grover HS)
Wed.,1/19; (Druid Hills MS)
Thur., 1/20; (Chamblee HS)
Tue., 1/25; (McNair HS)
Wed., 1/26; (Bethune MS)
Thur., 1/27; (Stone Mountain MS)

If you are concerned about the proposed redrawn attendance lines, please read the previous blog and sign the petition.  The two proposals that have been released to the public are just that - proposals.  DCSS says it will listen to input, and certainly there is strength in numbers.  Our new school board representative Nancy Jester says she wants to hear from you as well.  Nancy's email is:
DCSS's two proposals have been labeled Centralized and Decentralized.  Certainly the centralized plan is more advantageous for Dunwoody homeowners, provided the plan is adjusted to relocate the Georgetown and Chateau Woods neighborhoods into Dunwoody Elementary.  I know a lot folks have said the county school system doesn't take cities into considering when drawing lines, but the fact of the matter is - it should.  It would be nice if the county could and would keep communities neighborhoods together.   That's my opinion.  I welcome yours via comments to this blog.


Chip said...

Still stuck at home in a winter, wonderland. Since I have some free time to ponder, this is what I have been pondering:

Dunwoody has 150 miles of road, about 50 of which are considered "thoroughfares" or main roads. One snow scraper moving at 25 mph would take 4 hours to clear the major thoroughfares, assuming two passes per road. Two snow scrapers, working in tandem , would take 2 hours. 3 snowplows, 2 working the really major roads like Ashford Dunwoody, Mt. Vernon, Chamblee-Dunwoody and Tilly Mill, plus the third working roads like N. Peachtree, Womack, Vermack, etc. could probably have all the city streets cleaned in 4 hours or less.

Why aren't we getting this type of service??

Oh, I know the City Manager will tell you we don't have capital equipment in the budget, but it seems to me that the prudent course would be for the City to buy three or four sets of plows that could be retrofitted onto dump trucks, and own the plows but rent the trucks. You can always find the dump trucks around, but not the plow sets.

Minimum cost, maximum results for the one or two times we need them.

Having the city essentially shut down for two days for a few inches of snow (the ice never did materialize) has to cost considerably more that 3 or 4 plow setups.


Chip said...

Blogger Bob: I tried to paste two of my previous blog responses together but your page went "tilt".

Here's Part Deux


Here's an excerpt from today's AJC article, concerning efforts in Suwanee, GA. They did exactly what I'm suggesting with a road grader and a bobcat. I guess they ought to be called, "Suwanee, the really smart city!"
At least one area found success.

While many cities across metro Atlanta still contended with snow- and ice-filled streets, Suwanee was seeing blacktop for miles.

Before snow blanketed the area Sunday night, the Gwinnett County city contracted with a grading service on Friday for a front-end loader and a backhoe. The city already owns a Bobcat and tractor with a plow, said Scott Moretz, the city's supervisor of public works.

Crews started clearing select routes at 10 p.m. Sunday and kept circling them all night until 8 a.m. Monday, he said. The route totaled some 30 to 40 miles, he said.

Workers were able to remove most of the snow by Monday morning. Then in three-hour shifts, they spread salt up until 11 p.m., Moretz said.

"Now most of the roads are blacktop," he said. But, he cautioned, "as much as the roads look clear, stay off of them because of ice."

He expects there will be a bill for overtime work, but "I'd rather pay the overtime bill and keep the city safe."


Too bad City of Dunwoody didn't learn from the ice storm a year ago; a much smaller storm with very much the same results.


Anonymous said...

Chip is right and let's hope Warren and Council listen. I saw a local landscaping pick-up truck with a removable plow blade attached to it. The guy was plowing a commercial parking lot and doing a great job. The blade was adjustable and fairly wide. The driver could adjust it to plow either with an angle to the side or push straight ahead. Surely our city public works contractor could do something similar with 3-4 existing pick-up trucks. Had we attacked the dry snow on Monday before the sleet came, we'd be much further along today in reconnecting businesses and customers. I suspect these attachable blades are relatively inexpensive in the total picture of our city's budget and well worth having in reserve for our infrequent snows. We don't need a New York response, but something more than our limited sanding and salting is needed. If a small business landscaping company can figure out how to do it, so can our SMART city hall.

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

You and I would both like to have city-based school systems but the State Constitution will require several changes before that can be considered. You're talking years at best.

What the county school system "should" do depends on who you ask. There's all kinds of things they "should" do, like not wasting money on $2K chairs for example. ;-)

A petition (where a chunk of the signers are "anonymous") plus 2 dollars will get you to the airport on MARTA.

You're a sales guy, you're used to making deals. What incentive can Dunwoody (or Chamblee, or Tucker, or Lithonia, etc etc) offer to the County to consider city boundaries in redistricting? What would make it in the county's best interest to redistrict according to city boundaries where needed? What sort of (legal) positive incentive could a city offer? Answer that question and you're more likely to get the response you want.

Bob Fiscella said...

SDOC - great comments. You're absolutely right. Dunwoody needs to make a deal with DeKalb!