Public Services releases report detailing ice removal issues - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Report: Improved snow and ice removal comes with a hefty price tag

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

After several complaints from citizens about poor snow and ice removal on February 12, Cincinnati City Council asked Public Services to put together a report detailing issues related to the snow and ice removal functions.

What they found were several solutions that come with pretty hefty price tags.

"The previous two winters were very light so we are pretty much paying for it this year I think," says Larry Whitaker, Assistant to the Director for Cincinnati Public Services.

Whitaker says Cincinnati Public Services has been going non-stop for the last nine weeks trying to keep up with an unrelenting winter. 

"This year we had all of our trucks running pretty much non-stop so when the trucks start to go down, you really feel the impact. When they are really needed is when you feel it the most," says Whitaker.

That is why - at the city's request - Public Services put together a report detailing how they could rebuild much of the Winter Operations.

See the full report here. For a complete breakdown of the spending, click here. 

Whitaker says due to budget cuts over the last few years, Public Services did not have the funds to replace some of their outdated fleet. As a result, 60 percent of their fleet has exceeded their life cycle.

All together, the cost of repairing their fleet and replacing worn out equipment came to more than $8.8 million.

"It all boils down to money," says Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young. 

Money the city doesn't have.

"I don't believe that it is realistic to expect that the city can pony up $8.8 million to one department. I don't believe that is going to happen," says Young.

While Young says the city can't pay for all their needs, he certainly supports finding extra resources for public services.

"They are constrained by money as are we all and so they did what they could with within the budget they had. I believe they have done a masterful job. Could somebody argue that they could do better? Of course. They just need more resources," says Young. 

Young says they also have to keep in mind how rare this winter has been. They don't want to spend millions of dollars of equipment that they many not need during more average winter months.

Vice Mayor David Mann says while they can't pay that 8.8 million all at once, he would like to see the city put a plan in place to give public services what they need over the next five years.

Whitaker says while they would love to get everything they asked for, at this point any help is better than none at all.

To see a historical comparison of Public service

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