JACKSON-On Tuesday, the Jackson Township council will vote to approve bills submitted by Bil-Jim Construction and Caruso Excavating totalling over $65,000 for additional snow removal services required during the January 22-23rd snow storm. Township officials were forced to hire additional snow removal contractors after as much as 28 inches of snow fell that weekend.
The township initially reported a significantly lower turnout of public workers after the first night of snow removal, but later admitted those numbers were not accurate, but did reflect a drop in attendance by township workers as the cleanup process progressed.
Township Business Administrator Helene Schlegel reported that 30 employees with commercial drivers licenses showed up on Saturday to plow roads in Jackson. They were aided by 50 outside contractors.
Schlegel addressed the issue of the inaccuracy of the numbers provided that Sunday evening by the township.
“Any preliminary figures would be inaccurate until we had time to gather and review the records once the snow cleanup was completed,” she said. “Unfortunately, the preliminary information you received did prove inaccurate.”
However, on Sunday, only 21 of those drivers showed up for work, she said, reflecting a 30% drop. Outside contractors dropped by 50% to just 25 on the second day of the cleanup, prompting a meeting between Jackson Mayor Michael Reina, Councilman Rob Nixon, Councilman Barry Calogero and DPW Director Fred Rasciewicz.
Reina said after that meeting it was determined that two additional contractors needed to be hired to complete the project. The township agreed to hire Caruso Excavating and Bil-Jim Construction.
Township DPW staffing numbers were down again on Monday and Tuesday according to Schlegel when 25 out of the 30 drivers were on the roads plowing.
Union representative Chet Smilek refuted the notion made that Monday by the township that township employees staged any kind of organized walk out and attributed the shortfall to fatigue after many drivers worked long hours.
Caruso Excavating submitted a bill for $43,750.00 and Bil-Jim’s tab for the emergency snow removal contract was $22,032.00.
The township did not provided total snow removal costs for the cleanup.
Photo by Mary Beth.