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Clarkston snow

January 09, 2013 - Major streets through Clarkston, which are maintained by the County Road Commission, were cleared, salted, and safe for driving and walking after recent snowfalls, said resident Cory Johnston. On the other hand, opinions on snow and ice removal in downtown Clarkston were mixed.

Johnston was displeased with the City of the Village of Clarkston's response to the snow.

"Many sidewalks and secondary streets are still snow covered with many patches of ice and hard packed snow," Johnston said. "I don't know why the city has not taken care of this."

Village resident Suzanne McVinnie didn't share Johnston's view, however.

"They seem to keep up pretty well with the snow," she said.

McVinnie saw the plows out early in the morning to clear the roads.

Village Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Bob Pursley felt clearing Clarkston's streets and sidewalks went well, but said the plow occasionally ran into trouble when cars were parked in the way.

"You can't plow in areas with cars," Pursley noted.

If Clarkston gets more of the white stuff, Pursley advises residents to keep their vehicles off the roads and out of the parking lots, so the plow can get through.

In addition to trying to work around parked cars, the city employs only part-time help, and Pursley admits, "we're short sometimes personnel-wise."

The DPW's three employees were out over the holiday weekend salting and plowing, Pursley said.

"We try to do it early in the morning or at night," because less people are on the road and there are fewer vehicles in parking lots, he explained.

Once the snow is pushed aside, the DPW hauls it away. On Jan. 2, they took piles of snow and disposed of them in the back of Depot Park, Pursley stated.

Besides clearing the roads, Clarkston DPW is also charged with taking care of the sidewalks near the Mill Pond and Depot Park lots as well as the path through Lakeview Cemetery.

To do the work of snow and ice removal, the DPW has two trucks, a front-end loader, and a small tractor. From Pursley's point of view, the roads and sidewalks were made safe for residents after the heavy snow.

Seven inches of snow fell in the afternoon and evening of Dec. 26, with a couple inches over the next week.

According to Craig Bryson of the Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC), "we were salting the moment the snow started."

The RCOC starts in areas with high traffic volumes and higher speeds, so "I-75 was a top priority for us," Bryson said.

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