Bayonne didn’t contract for snow removal in time for last blizzard; court will close early for expected storm

BAYONNE — The $600,000 cost for snow removal in Bayonne may be partly due to the fact that the City Council did not have time to contract for snow removal services.
“We bid for and have a contract for salt,” said City Clerk Robert Sloan. “We went out to bid twice for emergency snow removal with no bidders. That allows us to negotiate with contractors for snow removal. Unfortunately, the blizzard of Oh-Ten hit before a formal contract could be awarded.”
In order to meet the city’s needs, Business Administrator Steve Gallo hired DiBella Construction Co. Inc on an emergency basis to remove snow from the Dec. 26 snowstorm. The city council is expected to ratify the emergency provision and apply to FEMA to cover the costs.
While many cities and towns have their own snow plow equipment through the Department of Public Works, most municipalities contract for removal of snow from the streets with private companies in an effort to clear areas for parking and business. Uptown residents last week complained about the lack of snow removal from areas above 50th Street, saying that the city had set a schedule, but never actually cleared the streets.
“Most of us dug out our cars in order move them off the street,” said one uptown resident, who did not want to be identified. “But the city never removed the snow.”
Meanwhile, a second serious storm was looming over the city for the overnight period from Jan. 11 into Jan. 12, leaving the city with similar snow removal problems.
The city has, meanwhile, already announced that it will suspend evening hours for Mayor Mark Smith, as well the civilian city departments and Municipal Court for Jan. 11 – these include the mayor’s office, the tax collector’s office and the building department. Defendants scheduled to appear in court after 5 p.m. on Jan. 11, will be notified by mail of a new court date. City offices and the court were scheduled to remain open during the day on Jan. 11. – Al Sullivan

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