Snow Removal Can Be a Challenge

By Sue Moore

Where does all the snow go that the Department of Public Works (DPW) plows in downtown Vicksburg or Schoolcraft?

In Vicksburg, sometimes the snow takes two trips via truck for removal. To get it off Main and Prairie Streets fast, it gets pushed to the west side parking lot behind Vicksburg Hardware. When the DPW gets the snow cleared so cars can park and traffic can move smoothly, the crew will scoop it up again and dump it in the ditch behind the Market Place and the Middle School, according the Randy Schippers, head of the DPW. The village used to pay private contractors to then haul it away but not anymore.

Schoolcraft’s hard-working DPW Department works outside regardless of the weather, Cheri Lutz the village manager said. “They started the winter out with a bang, and began plowing snow even before the fall leaf pick up was completed. These guys are up and out the door on snowy days at 3 a.m., making our roads safe for winter commuting.”

When a major snow storm is in the works, the three Vicksburg DPW guys – Randy, Chad and Jeff, with assistance from Ken Schippers, Mike Tichvon and even Jim Mallery, the village manager – are out and plowing by 4 a.m. “It’s better to plow in the dark so you can see better, as it’s not so bright,” Randy Schippers said. “We got the job done in December when there was four to five inches falling in eight hours with just three of us. We know the routine but we get slowed down with vehicles that are parked in our way, especially in the residential areas.

For as long as people can remember the village has plowed residential sidewalks too, once the main thoroughfares are clear. It looks like they won’t be doing that anymore, due to four or five homeowners complaining about damage to their yards. “I feel bad,” said Schippers, “but we can’t be responsible for this kind of damage at our cost as this was a complimentary service, so we are going to change and just plow the downtown sidewalks and those on school routes. The residents will need to clear their own sidewalks the rest of the winter.”

Vicksburg will no longer clear snow from residential sidewalks.

It’s plowed the sidewalks after streets were cleared for many years. The reason, according to DPW Manager Randy Schippers: “Four or five homeowners complained about damage to their yards.

“I feel bad,” said Schippers, “but we can’t be responsible for this kind of damage at our cost as this was a complimentary service, so we are going to change and just plow the downtown sidewalks and those on school routes. The residents will need to clear their own sidewalks the rest of the winter.”

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