The town's Public Works Department did an admirable job cleaning up after last weekend's blizzard and that there was no need to go out and hire outside contractors to aid in the cleanup effort, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. told the Town Council Wednesday.
Dickinson's remarks came after Balsam Ridge Circle resident Geno Zandri suggested that going outside of the department and hiring contractors might have made the cleanup go faster and gotten residents on the road quicker than happened this week.
"For the size of this storm, many of the surrounding town hired outside contractors to get the snow cleared," Zandri said.
"A number of towns use private contractors all the time," Dickinson said. "Wallingford has not done that and I don't believe we ever have."
The town has 22 plow routes with 30 trucks and five payloaders, he said, which is ample enough equipment to clear town roads.
"Any town that uses private contractors probably doesn't have the number of equipment we have," he said. "If we felt there was the need for it, we would have done it."
If the town were to have hired outside contractors, they would have had to have large trucks and equipment to deal with the amount of snow that fell, Dickinson said, which not all contractors have.
With some cul-de-sacs waiting three days to get done, the town should review how the storm was handled and how it could have been handled better, Zandri said.
"It's something we need to sit down and go over," he said.
"It comes down to priorities," Dickinson said. "Most of the time there was barely one lane of travel cleared and with the amount of snow that fell, we couldn't be everywhere.
"We tried to make single passages so that fire and police could get through," he said. "As it is, we had to take two people to the hospital in pickup trucks and had the National Guard shoveling to reach houses to assist people."