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Massena trustee voices concern about sidewalk clearing on South Main Street

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MASSENA — A village trustee voiced concern this week that Department of Public Works crews haven’t cleared the sidewalks on South Main Street, south of the Hatfield Street, intersection for weeks.

Trustee Francis J. Carvel told his fellow board member that several times in recent weeks he has seen pedestrians forced to walk in the roadway because the sidewalks haven’t been cleared.

“We’ve had plenty of time, employees and equipment to get the sidewalks cleared off. It’s a public safety issue,” Mr. Carvel said. “Every Friday or Saturday night when I’m coming home, there are kids walking in the road. They shouldn’t have to walk in the road.”

Mr. Carvel said he understands there has been more snow than usual this year, but said the sidewalks have been a mess.

Fellow Trustee Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies said he was also concerned with the height of snowbanks at intersections in the village. He said drivers are being forced to creep into intersections to see around the snowbanks posing increased likelihood of accidents.

Mayor James F. Hidy defended DPW Superintendent Hassan Fayad’s leadership on the winter maintenance issues.

“I know he has had four pieces of equipment in for repairs and we are having an abnormal amount of snowfall this year. I know these aren’t just issues in Massena. It is all over,” he said.

Mr. Hidy said Mr. Fayad also has to balance the winter maintenance work and budgetary constraints.

“It’s a combination of the people he has, efforts to keep overtime down and the work that needs to be done. I think he is doing the best he can,” he said.

Mr. Fayad is on vacation and was unavailable for comment.

Johnson Newspapers writer Ryne Martin contributed to this report.

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