Town crew shouldered storm's load

NEIGHBORS

February 03, 1994|By MICHELLE HOFFMAN

While the rest of us were snug in bed dreaming of days off from work and school, five Taneytown utilities workers labored steadily during the snowstorm of '94.

It was "no small job," said Taneytown Mayor Henry Reindollar, but the men were committed to ensuring that people could drive on the streets of Taneytown.

Bruce Eyler, the superintendent of utilities, and his crewmen -- Bob Bowers, Rick Weaver, Doug Wantz and Charlie Stitely -- were out before dawn. They went to work at 3 a.m. to be briefed and begin plowing.

Mr. Stitely stayed at the water treatment plant to keep equipment operational in the frigid weather. The others manned a dump truck, a sidewalk-sized bulldozer, and two pickup trucks equipped with plowing blades. One of the trucks also had a salt spreader.

With every push to clear driving surfaces, the snow covered their tracks.

The men ended their work week 156 hours later, and each was ready for a day of rest. Instead, they played catch-up.

Because the temperature had risen Jan. 21, the snow the men had already plowed was turning to slush that threatened to create another mess when it froze again that night. Knowing there were only eight hours to do the job this time, Mr. Eyler called in the reserves, Stambaugh Inc. from Union Bridge. Together, the crews hustled to clear melting snow and slush from as many roads as possible. Taneytown Memorial Park was their dumping ground.

The utilities crew also had to contend with numerous calls to assist people in dealing with frozen water pipes.

Linda Hess, Taneytown's clerk-treasurer, said residents were "very cooperative" and had moved their cars before the storm, giving the plowing trucks greater freedom of movement and contributed to a speedy cleanup. The city ordinance regarding snow emergency procedures was printed in the town newsletter at the beginning of the winter season, Ms. Hess said.

According to Mayor Reindollar, Taneytown spent $3,185 for labor. Additional bills for salt purchased from the county and the work from Stambaugh's have not been received.

Mayor Henry Reindollar said he would like to thank the crews for a job well done.

Mayor Perry Jones of Union Bridge said much of that town's plowing was contracted out to Stambaugh's Inc. and other private companies.

*

Get out of the house Saturday night for some good food and dancing. VFW Post 8806 in Union Bridge is having a chicken and ham feed.

Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Dancing to the music of "Stray Country" will be from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The cost for the evening is $10 per person. For tickets and information, call 775-2160 after 3 p.m.

*

St. Joseph Church on Frederick Street in Taneytown is having bingo Saturday.

Early bird games are scheduled to start at 6:40 p.m.; regular games start at 7 p.m.

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