Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 18:10
Resident protests icy conditions in area set aside for handicapped
The Feb. 19th primary election drew criticism from one resident at last week’s Village Board meeting, and it had nothing to do with the light turnout.
Nathan Short, the son of former Village President Joe Short, blasted village officials for leaving the spot reserved for handicapped parking at the Fredonia Government Center covered with ice and snow.
The building is used by all voters in the village and town.
“Isn’t it the village’s responsibility to keep the parking area safe for our elderly. There has got to be a way we can keep the parking lot clear. I was appalled,” Short said.
“The village crew does a wonderful job of keeping the roads clear, but this is our building and the only time a lot of people use it is to vote. Shouldn’t the village do whatever it can to keep our citizens safe.”
Village officials responded that election day followed a treacherous combination of rain and then freezing temperatures.
Village President Chuck Lapicola said he made his regular visit to the senior meal site at the fire station earlier that day and had a difficult time clearing the ice and snow.
“You could shovel all day and not get the ice off,” Lapicola said.
Trustee Don Dohrwardt said Short’s complaint was politically motivated and ignored a commonsense solution.
“People aren’t required to park in the handicapped space if there are others that are clear,” Dohrwardt said.
“It would have been a waste of taxpayers’ money to have three people from the DPW spend a half day removing that ice. With an unlimited amount of time and money, there is always something we could do. However, we need to do what is reasonable, and keeping the roads clear was the priority.”
Lapicola said stormwater drainage has always been a problem at the shared government building, resulting in recurring icing problems in the winter.
“Stormwater management has been a problem from the get-go, and that creates icing,” he said.
Public Works Director Roger Strohm was asked to create a policy prioritizing snow and ice removal efforts.