By Steven Hoffman
While some municipalities have already depleted their supplies of salt, Oxford Borough Manager Betsy Brantner said during the most recent Oxford Borough Council meeting that the town still has a supply of salt left to handle any remaining storms that the winter of 2013-14 has in store for the area.
The hope, of course, is that there won’t be any more winter storms that require the plows to be brought out yet again. This is especially true in Oxford because the winter weather has already taken its toll on the borough’s equipment.
“Two of our snowplows have gone down,” Brantner explained. “We only have one snowplow that’s running right now.”
Oxford Borough Council approved the purchase of 100 more tons of salt for $5,253. Brantner said that so far this winter the borough has used 416 tons of salt.
The most persistent problem that Oxford has encountered thus far this winter is that there simply isn’t any place to go with the snow and ice that has been dumped on the town as one storm after another hit the area.
“They are running out of places to put the snow,” Brantner said.
And as the snow piles up, it gets harder and harder for Public Works employees to move the snow. Brantner urged residents to keep in mind that when the streets get plowed, it’s impossible not to leave behind some snow in inconvenient places—near cars or driveways, and she said that residents should wait for the plows to go through until shoveling out whenever that’s an option.
Two residents, Buzz Dorety and Mary Baringer, talked about how some of the sidewalks are not clear for pedestrians. Many people in town walk to the stores in the Oxford Square Mall. Baringer was particularly concerned about residents who use motorized chairs. Dorety talked about how some of the snow piles make it difficult for motorists to see, especially at intersections.
“It’s not every year that we get this kind of snow,” remarked council president Ron Hershey.
Several Oxford officials expressed their appreciation for the Public Works Department employees who have been working tirelessly day after day to keep the streets as clean as possible. The Public Works employees include supervisor John Schaible, Charlie Blevins, Herbie Tester, Jeff Dillard, Scott Kin, Tom Hindman, Jr. and Gary Hagy. Because all these employees have their CDL licenses, Brantner said, they can all drive the snowplows and other trucks that are used to clear the streets after a storm.
Mayor Geoff Henry said that after the large storm that arrived on Feb. 13, he went out and talked to some of the residents and business owners in town to see how they were managing during the winter. Everyone was pleased, Henry said, with how Oxford was responding to the snowstorms.
“They all had positive things to say about how the snow was being handled,” Henry said.
Hershey and Henry both talked about the assistance that the police department has been providing during the storms, and they thanked everyone who has helped the town and its residents weather the storm.
“I think they’ve done a fine job,” Hershey said.