Tough commute, hike in taxes, could mean more plows out in Henrietta when it snows

The Henrietta Town Supervisor admits that his town was not as well plowed as others Thursday morning. (WHAM Photo)

HENRIETTA, NY (WHAM) -The Henrietta Town Supervisor admits that his town was not as well plowed as others Thursday morning.

13WHAM caught up with drivers and they said they agree with him.

"The road was very snow covered, the snow was packed from people driving on it," said Hans Witt, who lives in Henrietta.

The town supervisor said a tax hike could fix the problem and add more resources to the town.

By the later afternoon, the roads 13WHAM drove on were cleared.

However, when Melissa Richardson headed to work around six this morning along West Henrietta Road she was greeted with slick roadways and steady snowfall.

"The plows were out because I passed one coming and one lane was snow covered and the other slushy," she described.

She said it's not typically like this in Henrietta. "The roads are usually cleared very, very well and they weren't this morning."

Her commute she said was a bit more challenging.

The town doesn't have any overnight plow crews and when snow falls like this they call crews in. Then they have a decision to make.

"So whenever they run a plow they have to decide are we going to plow the main roads or the sub roads," said Stephen Schultz, Henrietta Town Supervisor.

He said last night they first plowed the main roads but, even then a few hours in they were covered again as crews made their way in the early morning to secondary roads.

"The problem is that it's about a two hour on the backs and a three hour on the mains and so by the time they got back out on the mains - two hours had gone by and snow had accumulated," Schultz explained.

Hans Witt lives off of Lehigh Station Road.

"I left my house at 9:30 a.m. and the plows had not been by," he said.

Schultz said getting more crews on the road so this kind of thing doesn't happen is going to require funding.

The $2.5 million would be what it would cost to purchase the vehicles," he said.

He believes that by adding 10 more vehicles to the fleet back roads would get cleared faster, allowing others crews to clear the main roads.

He said crews last night were called in at 2 a.m. and were likely out on the streets an hour later.

"We have this mentality that we have the money to buy trucks because we used to for years, we don't anymore," Schultz said.

He said that money has since been spent on projects like building the library.

He explained in order to buy more plows the town would need to raise taxes or take out bonds.

"So for the average home let's say $150,000 you would be look at about $50 a year," he explained as an example.

However, it's not an idea everyone believes in.

"For that I don't see it necessary," Paul Marvin said, who lives in Henrietta.

He said he did not have a tough time getting around today because the roads he used were cleared.

"I'm not against raising taxes. I don't want too much of a hike in our taxes but, if that gets us safely to work and kids safe to school that's what we have to do," Richardson said.

The people 13WHAM spoke to said the roads are usually cleared off relatively quickly when it snows.

Schultz said the town has grown over the years as more lane miles have gotten added and that presents yet another challenge for plow crews.

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