MOUNT VERNON — The city continues to clean up following the storm last week that left thousands without power for several days, and downed trees and branches all over the city.
“It was important to get the streets open and service restored,” said Mayor Richard Mavis. “I think the last streets to be cleared were Belmont and Bond, which were finally opened Thursday.”
It didn’t help that five more trees went down as the result of Wednesday night’s storm.
Mavis explained that if a tree falls across a street, the city will cut it up and haul the small stuff away, but the bigger logs will be cut up and left for the landowner to use or dispose of as they see fit.
Beginning Monday, the City Street Department will be out with the chipper to pick up branches left at the edge of the property (not in the street). Branches left for the chipper can be no more than 8 inches in diameter.
Residents have hauled a great deal of material to the compost facility, and the city will wind up with more wood mulch after the chipper gets around, but no decision has been made yet on what to do with it, Mavis said.
The traffic light at the corner of Sandusky and Chestnut finally was restored to service Friday morning, the mayor reported, but the light at Mechanic Street and West High has been in flashing mode since it came back on. Mavis said that light is controlled by older technology that tends to lose memory if power is interrupted. The city is working on restoring the light’s programming.
Not likely to be restored soon is the traffic light at the intersection of South Main Street and Columbus Road. The wind last Friday knocked over the pole and boom arm that held the lights for the northbound traffic on Main Street. The base of the pole was also badly corroded, probably due to road salt.
Initially, a temporary stop sign was erected on Columbus Road, the lights for the southbound lanes were set to flash on yellow and drivers heading north were advised to “proceed with caution.”
However, Mavis said the city received several calls about near-misses at the intersection, so the southbound lights have been reset to flash on red and a stop sign has been added for the northbound lanes.
The city is still waiting for the cost estimate to replace the light, as well as information on how long it will take to get the replacement.
Mavis said there were some “hostilities” in the aftermath of the city fireworks display Tuesday. There were no fights, he said, but there were harsh words exchanged when people had to wait 20 minutes to leave Memorial Park on Mount Vernon Avenue while firefighters and the pyrotechnics team checked the area for unexploded fireworks.