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How Would You Rate NK's Plowing During Winter’s First Snowstorm?

Is the town off to a good start this winter?

Credit: NK Patch
Credit: NK Patch

Now that this winter’s first snowstorm is in the books, it’s time for you to rate how the town’s plows handled the more than half foot of snow that fell Thursday into Friday.

Feel free to give praise or thanks, express frustrations or offer up constructive criticism in the comments below.

CompassCarrier January 03, 2014 at 01:19 PM
Might be nice if they actually plowed our neighborhood.
MeanE January 03, 2014 at 01:55 PM
They plowed?
Elizabeth McNamara (Editor) January 03, 2014 at 02:16 PM
Compass Carrier and MeanE, what streets are you talking about? Also, if you could send me photos, i'd appreciated it, with time taken: elizabeth.mcnamara@patch.com
MeanE January 03, 2014 at 02:38 PM
School St. & all Side streets, Devil's Foot from school to french town.
underwhelmed January 03, 2014 at 02:52 PM
I haven't seen a plow on my street since 6 am this morning. Its just the usual, same as every winter. We pay more and more taxes for less and less in services. It is just disgusting. I took a little tour myself up and down Post Rd. to Ten Rod. @Eliz--you pick the area either side of Post Rd going North check the different neighborhoods.
MeanE January 03, 2014 at 02:53 PM
I heard plows last night, but I was on the roads for 20 minutes today and didn't see one. Roads like Route 2 in EG are to the pavement. Even post Rd. in NK was not completely cleared. I haven't seen one Road that was completely cleared and when the sun sets and the temp drops even colder, good luck with that.
MeanE January 03, 2014 at 02:56 PM
Before anyone chimes in and tells me how difficult a job it is, save it, as I have a family member in CT that has plowed for the town for 30 years and I know what kind of hours are spent behind the wheel and I can assure you, the roads he plows are much better than the roads in NK!
anon January 03, 2014 at 04:31 PM
I have never posted on this forum, and I have finally reached a breaking point. All I hear is complaint after complaint after complaint on virtually every single article. We have a town that is envied by almost everyone in this little state. We pay higher taxes, yes, but take a look around people. Overall north Kingstown is a very good community, and thankfully we are not in the dire fiscal position many of our surrounding communities are in. Holidays are over so lets immediately start bashing people again. I have lived in multiple regions across the country for work and this is by FAR one of the most hostile communities I have ever lived in. Personally, Id like to thank the North Kingstown DPW for the countless hours they have put in each and every storm. They spend hour after hour all night and all day to provide their fellow residents with a safe, clean community. It is a completely thankless job as evidenced by some of the habitual complainers above my comment. They deal with people complaining, driving all over the roads that they are trying to clean. North Kingstown is a very large community, with hundreds of tiny side roads many of you don't even know exist. Mean E, how about you take a look around you. There is a reason North Kingstown is a community which people would love to live in. While all of you were in bed, or in your warm house out of the weather, they are trying to navigate and clean roads. Have you seen the light fluffy snow being blown around in the wind? Have you seen how slow you have to drive in the inclement weather conditions? You cant fly all around town at normal speeds when the windshield wipers keep getting stuck full of snow can you? You cant drive normal speeds can you? You cant clean roads when people (I have seen this personally) stop you and chew you out for getting snow at the ends of their driveways, or tell you to push snow where they perceive to be the right spot. I am so sick and tired of seeing people be so negative and angry at eachother. They are trying to help you, how about you show some respect. Its a brand new year, how about you all make a resolution to treat eachother with respect. But hey, I finally opened my mouth so come on....tell me how wrong I am and complain about me. Thank you NK DPW and NK Water dept who I saw out fixing a broken water main today out in the bitter cold. They are not perfect, but the hard work and over 24 hours each DPW employee has put in should not go without a thank you or recognition that they are at least trying their best with the resources they have available to them. Thank you.
MeanE January 03, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Welcome Anon - I too have lived in multiple regions across this country (CT, ME, RI, KS, AZ, TX). No need to make things personal. I don't think anyone is blaming the drivers, and as I said I have a brother-in-law that has driven a plow for 30 years and his crew just got off a 38 hour shift, so I understand their sacrifice, but I also understand many of them like the OT pay that comes with it. Who am I or others disrespecting? I don't think I need to thank an employee for doing their job and getting paid OT from the taxes that we all contribute to. It's their JOB, that's what they signed up for. Your point about "trying their best with the resources they have available to them", may be more valid than anything else you said in the post. I feel that the services provided proportionate to the taxes we pay are not sufficient. Especially compared to other places that I have lived with similar taxes to those we pay here. In addition, I would like to know if you think Jamestown or EG residents envy NK. Not sure I agree with your premise, but I am glad you finally joined in on the discussion.
CompassCarrier January 03, 2014 at 04:53 PM
And back on planet earth.......We just saw a plow go by our neighborhood for the first time........And you're telling me it's because all of all the people driving on the roads while they are trying to plow?? Yeah, I bet it was JAM PACKED on the roads between 3AM and 7:00AM. So anon: how was your street plowed? And if you are satisfied with the plowing of your street we've LOVE to know what neighborhood you live in.....because I'd like to now wait until 4:00 PM to get my street plowed for the first time.
CompassCarrier January 03, 2014 at 04:56 PM
"You cant clean roads when people (I have seen this personally) stop you and chew you out for getting snow at the ends of their driveways, or tell you to push snow where they perceive to be the right spot.".........well, anon, you've given yourself away here....I bet I can guess who your employer is and what you do for a living! Kind of like Karnac the Magnificent from the old Johnny Carson show! LOLOLOLOL
CompassCarrier January 03, 2014 at 04:57 PM
And anon...you shouldn't be texting while operating heavy machinery...you should be driving in my neighborhood and MeanE's plowing the street! :o)
Elizabeth McNamara (Editor) January 03, 2014 at 05:04 PM
I checked out a few roads late this afternoon. Those off School Street were cleared by the time I got there (3:30ish). Off Devil's Foot Road, I saw two town plows clearing Sachem and Brookside streets (same time period). After 4 p.m., I drove on some streets east of Post Road between Wickford and Quonset. Not perfect, but definitely plowed. I will talk to town officials about the number of plow drivers. If there are other streets/neighborhoods I should know about, let me know!
anon January 03, 2014 at 05:22 PM
You are absolutely correct that it is their job, and something that they signed up for. Personally, I feel that most people on the NK patch only post comments which can be perceived as negative, or complaining... not all, but take a look in almost every comment section of any issue or article. I simply wanted to thank the north Kingstown employees for doing their job, and trying to provide the rest of us with a safe town. Your comment about the overtime is quite frankly confusing. In storms like these, where the snow is windblown and falling fast, I don't care if its private, public, or any other service it is going to require overtime and costs associated with not only pay, but equipment wear and tear, fuel, material, and a variety of other associated costs. It is the inherent cost of doing business, and quite frankly it is unavoidable, especially during long duration storms. There is the initial removal of snow, followed by pushing back snow banks and cleaning up the roads, sanding and salting, and other cleanup as necessary. Last night, or today, no matter how fast anyone moves with these bitter cold temperatures everything freezes up almost instantly. People who shouldn't be on the roads typically are, compacting snow and making it harder to clean up. But most of all, I think that there is ABSOLUTLY a need to thank an employee. If you owned a business and had to pay an employee overtime to work on an issue, does that give you the just causation not to thank them at the end of the day for their hard work? I certainly don't think so. Just because you had to pay overtime to that employee should never negate the fact that they dedicated time as needed for the betterment of the company, town, or customer. I have worked countless overtime for my company and the thing that makes me most happy isn't only the extra pay, but the "thank you" and satisfaction of either my boss or clients. Most of the time I would sacrifice the pay for time to spend with my family or doing something I enjoy... maybe you cant relate as this is only my opinion. Sometimes things don't go as smoothly as planned (its called life) and I think we can all relate to that, but make no mistake about it when someone is doing the best they can given the conditions or resources available a simple thank you can make someone's day. Such a simple gesture to a human being vs the $$ sign attached to them for their time. I just wish people saw the positives more here, instead of seeking out the negatives. Just because an employee of either a private or public sector business is earning overtime should never negate the courteous thank you associated for their time or efforts.
anon January 03, 2014 at 05:58 PM
Compass Carrier, while your condescending posts may amuse some people or yourself here is a fact check for you. I live off of Shermantown road and I do not nor have I ever worked for any municipality. My roads were cleaned up well enough to drive on around 9am. Not perfect, but drivable. I didn't realize I "gave myself away" by stating I have personally seen people rip plow drivers a new one. I didn't know you had to be a plow driver to see that. I was walking my wifes dog through our neighborhood and happened to see it. When was the height of the storm? I believe it was in the general timeframe you so generously provided in the early morning hours. Maybe you didn't understand me so I will do my best to explain this. When it is snowing out really hard, and visibility is down, do you not understand that slower speeds are required? Especially for municipal workers trying to avoid any sue happy town resident when private property is damaged? Did you not understand the fact I was simply saying you cant fly around town zipping at normal speeds? Do you think there is any correlation between slower speeds, adverse weather conditions, and how fast every road in town is plowed? Let me guess, you have all the answers to all of these questions. This is the perfect example of my original statement that the holidays are over so lets start bashing everyone. You have no idea who I am, what I do for a living, but I had the outlandish idea that maybe a simple thank you to someone trying to help us NK residents.
underwhelmed January 03, 2014 at 06:06 PM
@ anon--I have plowed snow for twenty years or more. Have ruined 3 trucks because of the wear and tear. Have contracted to various towns and the state including NK (I do not anymore). I have and do know exactly what it is like to be in the middle of a blizzard for 24 hrs or more, so spare me the hearts and flowers. I don't disagree with the thank yous but I do disagree with the quality of the work. I got paid for what I did and if I did not perform I would be fired. I am a private contractor now no more state or town work. I just got real tired of cleaning up the town workers sloppy work while they were at the local coffee shop. There is a right and wrong way to plow snow. Blowing down the road at 30 or 35 miles an hour once and not returning to a street for hours is not the methodology that gets the job done. I used to do a neighborhood in three passes on each street to within 3 feet of the curb. Final clean-up was after the storm. Then there was no residue of snow 6-8 feet from the curb line and 6-8 inches deep so when it froze the ruts would slice your tires. The next pass through would be basically a lighter run through of the first pass. When I was out today taking care of my private accounts, I enter many neighborhoods in this town and the streets were (I'll be kind) in many areas just not acceptable. Now it may be because of equipment issues or lack thereof, I don't know but if that is the case then maybe there needs to be a concerted effort put forth to find out why. This is not new as a problem it has been going on for a few years. As was stated above the taxes paid in this town results in few services being returned to the vast majority of the residents. You still have to take your own trash to the dump or pay somebody to do it. Do yourself a favor and take a comparative look at the tax rates of other cities and towns in RI and the services received for those taxes. It might be an eye opener when it comes to NK. As far as NK being the envy of other towns well let us just say that we certainly do have a lot to be envied. A ballooning section 8 and low income population that is sucking this town dry because of the services we taxpayers must provide. Unbridled development along Ten Rod Road which is going to choke that part of town into complete gridlock. The Post Rd corridor which is certainly a jewel of eyesores, need I go on. I don't know how long you have lived in NK but maybe some visine may be in order.
CompassCarrier January 03, 2014 at 06:10 PM
@underwhelmed......anon has indicated that I am a big, negative meanie....so I want to say THANK YOU for your 20 years of plowing! :o) Also, your comments about our little NK being the envy of other towns are spot on!
anon January 03, 2014 at 09:40 PM
@underwhelmed.... Simply put I think that NK still has more pro's than con's when compared to other towns in this state. Things aren't perfect nor will they ever be. I am simply happy and thankful to live in a town that is a relatively educated, affluent town. My point, and the reason I posted my comment earlier today is reflects a personal belief that plow drivers and the DPW as a whole has the best intentions. I have met and talked to some of the DPW employees and they have always been respectful and hard working when I see them. I just feel its right to show some appreciation for the job and service they provide. When I need coffee at work, I walk down the hall and grab a coffee in the office kitchen. The public doesn't see me get one. DPW employees cannot do that as they are a mobile unit. I am not trying to have "hearts and flowers" for anyone--or comment on the quality of their work. I think unions are outdated and useless in this day and age. I fully support and like private market for the reasons you stated. Don't do your job, you should be fired immediately. That said, I have seen private contractors absolutely hack jobs they are on also. The day I feel that North Kingstown is no longer a place where the pro's outweigh the con's the answer is very simple. I will move and provide my tax dollars to another town. I really didn't expect this conversation to become a larger venue for other topics but since it has ill share my opinion. I agree with you that the section 8 housing in north Kingstown is not admirable or even wanted. That being said, we live in Rhode island. Its a tiny little blue state with liberal views and minds. Raise taxes, take care of the "underprivileged", and spend spend spend. You stated that I take should take a look at tax rates, or services not provided here. Taxes are indeed much higher than many other places, but there is a direct correlation between the tax base and tax rates. Look next door to main street EG, in comparison to Wickford. Notice the difference? While no one wants businesses to overtake our community, one completely viable way to offset potential tax increases is to expand the tax base. How we do that, or where we do that can be debated all day long but its an undeniable fact we need to expand the tax base. The post road corridor is disgusting, we all know that. Businesses have little to zero incentive to fill some of the vacant locations because other towns offer better amenities and incentives. The correlation between taxable base and tax rates when comparing other towns is undeniable. The numbers are there to prove this. The adversity to any change is the biggest hindrance we face. The type of buisnesses that fill vacancies needs to be addressed along with expanding the tax base. How many more banks, credit unions or pizza places do we need? There is a reason when I take my family out to eat, my money goes to towns other than north Kingstown. There is a reason when I want to do any shopping outside walmart its typically in other towns. Once again, I only wanted to comment because amidst all this discussion, I feel that if there are problems we should make constructive, viable plans to solve them. Not sit behind a computer slinging mud at anyone or about any particular topic. No hearts or flowers, just an appreciation we aren't west warwick, or Woonsocket, or central falls.
underwhelmed January 04, 2014 at 08:31 AM
@anon---Sounds like generally we are on the same page. The difference is my experience is hands on. Its unfortunate but the downward spiral, death by a thousand cuts syndrome, is driving out residents of NK. The very residents the town should want to attract. The "new and improved" planning ideas are not going to improve anything, but they will add to the exodus of people who contribute to the tax base. The EG comparison is an inequitable comparison for many reasons, physical geography of "downtown" being one. They opted to control the "strip mall" crawl and encourage growth that fits into the character of the town. I remember when EG's Main St was a dump, an eyesore like NK's Post RD. They put into action a plan to revitalize what they had, not import more problems as NK is doing. How much section 8 and low income do you see in EG? There is a reason why we have it in NK and it is not what the TC and manager tell you! Ten years from now I'll bet you that coffee at the local donut shop that the town will be in worse shape because of the poor planning that has been going on. But my guess is you and I will have moved on to another town. Those who we have reaped their rewards we be long gone and the usual suspects (the taxpayers who are left) will be holding the empty bag.
Pam January 04, 2014 at 03:41 PM
our road still has 2 inches of snow on it , deep ruts, sliding cars and we have not seen a plow in over 24 hours.. Pretty poor performance by any measure (especially for a little 7 inch snowfall).
Jmm January 04, 2014 at 08:01 PM
Only because I find all the negative feed back to be quite disheartening, I feel the need to chime in a bit. It is hilarious to me the amount of complaints and negativity you NK folk have towards your own town workers, I'm not sure if you are able to leave your little NK bubble but if you are you'd realize that all of Rhode Islands roads are not perfect after the storm there is slush and snow still in various places, I would be appreciative if I were you ignorant people because there are certain places in Rhode Island that don't get plowed out at all. Since all of the people on here seem to be so educated on plowing and what not apply for a job with the town or maybe get yourself a plow truck and show them what you assume to be such an easy job. Try appreciating your town and it's workers or move somewhere else. Happy Snow days to you all and may you never have cleared roads again :)
Pam January 04, 2014 at 08:46 PM
not sure i really care about roads in other places in RI and whether they are plowed or not.. Snowplowing is a "basic" service..I pay taxes in NK, for which i get one regular service (recycling). The town workers work for the taxpayers. My street is still not plowed, even though my taxes should go for this "service".I also assume that the "plowers" are handsomely compensated, in terms of time and a half or double or triple time. in any other industry except public employees, this sort of incompetence would not be tolerated. It would be dealt with and changed so that it would work. if it is not the workers, it is the leaders.. either way, the taxpayers should get something for their money, other than larger public employee pensions and recycling.
Proud Resident January 05, 2014 at 07:47 AM
Good job with the plowing DPW! (Given a forum like this the odds are you will get mostly whiners)
NK Abby January 05, 2014 at 05:00 PM
1. How about a simple thank you for the men and women plowing our streets, working long hours, missing time with their families and not making double or triple time(no idea where you got that idea from). 2. It is rude and thoughtless to call the entire dpw and contracted plowers incompetent just because of a few missed roads. Have you never made a mistake at your own job? Would that mean, based on that logic, everyone is incompetent at their own jobs? 3. Has anyone ever thought roads like post road and rt 2 are down to pavement first because they are state roads and they are willing to spend extra money dropping salt and sand, while NK would blow the budget if they did that and you'd be complaining on why they are spending so much. 4. I'm sorry that your streets where poorly plowed or late at being plowed, I realize that can be a large inconvenience to your daily routine. But try and remember that during storms things happen, trucks break down, plows break, emergency vehicles need assistance before anyone else, etc. from a private plower to the town plowers, People are always going to complain, Great job DPW!

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