Blizzard, Clean Up Costs Discussed At Fairview Meeting

Fairview Township road crews handled the snow removal from the March blizzard expertly, according to township supervisors and some residents. At the April 4 Board of Supervisors meeting, Roadmaster Russ Marhold spoke about the cleanup, the cost to the township, and the uncertainty of federal aid to pay for it.

On March 14, Mountaintop was hit with two feet of snow. Workers from Fairview’s three-man crew were out plowing for 19 hours on the first day of the blizzard and for 18 hours the following day. Three trucks from a local excavating company were also hired to help.

“Their efforts are not forgotten,” Marhold told the board of the crew. “They did a wonderful job with the situation they were dealing with.”

The snow cleanup from that storm cost Fairview Township $16,000 and the board submitted this bill to Luzerne County to apply for FEMA funds. It is still unknown, however, if the county and Fairview Township will receive that federal aid.

Marhold explained that, in order for Luzerne County to qualify for reimbursement of storm-related costs, it must exceed a threshold of money spent. Luzerne County did, almost doubling the $1.3 million threshold.

Still, the FEMA funds are not guaranteed until it is determined that other counties in Pennsylvania also make the threshold. The state itself has its own threshold, $18.2 million, and in the next few weeks the tallies from other counties will come in and determine whether Pennsylvania will receive FEMA aid.

Last month, Marhold told The Eagle about how Fairview tackled the massive amount of snow on the township’s 33 miles of road. Streets that have a steep slope, such as North Main, were plowed first and then the well-traveled roads were handled next, such as Spruce Street, Forest Road, and Shady Tree Drive.

“We concentrate on feeder roads that lead up to the school and the more heavily-populated areas,” Marhold explained. “Regardless of how you do it, it isn’t easy.”

Some problems arose, such as a plow breaking down and another getting stuck on lower Liberty Street. Those issues were resolved, however, by the dedicated crew.

With so much snow falling at such a fast rate, another difficulty was finding where to plow it all. “It just kept comping. It wouldn’t let up,” Marhold said. “The more you plow, the narrower the road gets.”

At the April 4 meeting, Township Secretary Barbara Wasiakowski read a letter from a Fairview Hills couple, thanking the board for efficient and timely snow plowing during the blizzard. They complimented the crew’s placement of all that snow, stating that it was well handled.

In other business, the Mountain Top Hose Company responded to 32 calls in March, reported David Hourigan, president of the organization. He added that the fire department did not incur any major problems during the March blizzard and that the hose company’s annual fund drive letter is in the mail.

Fairview Police answered 304 calls in March, stated Supervisor Robert Orloski, including 31 reports of suspicious persons, vehicles, or circumstances; six domestic disturbances; four animal complaints; and one theft and one count of criminal mischief. Police made two driving-under-the-influence arrests

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