Call it the in-between time. Not yet safe enough to put away the shovels; too early to start on the lawn. Unless, of course, you’re part of a crew touching up the aftermath of a winter spent clearing sidewalks in Elmira.
Torn-up lawns are an unavoidable byproduct of the machines used to push snow off the walkways, say both township officials and the contractor charged with doing the job. That means now’s the time for making repairs, while the ground is still wet and the ripped-up pieces of lawn can be put back in place with a reasonable expectation of regrowth.
Beyond that, any work involving re-sodding or re-seeding will come later in the season, suggests Woolwich’s director of engineering and planning.
“They will be out over the course of the next few weeks fixing those spots needing repairs,” Dan Kennaley said this week, noting his department will be having a season wrap-up meeting with thecontractor.
Given the rough winter and the amount of snow, there was an increased amount of grumbling from the public this season, not just about lawn edging but about timeliness and the quality of the job done.
“The bottom line is we got too many complaints – we want to look for improvement next year,” he said.
Creative Asphalt and Landscape Works of St. Clements is the contractor, hired on in 2009 to clear Elmira’s sidewalks. The bill of some $70,000 a year is covered by a special levy of $20 a year collected from each Elmira homeowner.
While the weather has been too unpredictable to say crews won’t be out clearing sidewalks again this spring, the focus now is on lawn repairs, with the other service issues to be sorted out in advance of next season. There’s little to be done to prevent harm to parts of the lawn bordering the sidewalks, said Kennaley, noting Elmira has walkways of varying widths, making it impossible to standardize the equipment used, for instance.
“It’s unfortunate, but a certain amount of damage to the lawns in inevitable.”
Creative’s Rick Draves said measures are taken to avoid damage, but it can’t be prevented.
“That’s an ongoing issue,” he said, adding damage happens in any municipality where snow is cleared from the sidewalks by machine.
Draves said he will have to speak with township staff before any new course of action is taken.