, Salem, MA

Local News

February 3, 2014

Snow shovelers to help during major storms in Salem

SALEM — The city is recruiting a youthful band of snow shovelers to help clear the downtown during major snowstorms.

The shovel brigade will focus on areas that city workers have trouble getting to right away — sections of sidewalks next to crosswalks and curb cuts used by the disabled.

“During a big storm, we may not get to crosswalks till 48 hours after the storm,” said John Tomasz, director of the Department of Public Services. “For a lot of businesses in the downtown, that’s a long time to wait.”

The snow shovelers also will clear snow in front of city or public properties in the downtown.

The program is a joint effort by the city, the Northshore Workforce Investment Board, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, the North Shore Community Development Coalition and others. Several organizations are signing up shovelers who can be called out in a storm.

“We are a pedestrian-friendly community in so many respects,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement. “With so many people living and working downtown especially, we wanted to put extra effort into ensuring our city is accessible and walkable, even following a major snow event.”

The shovelers, most of whom will be in their teens or early 20s, will be paid $8 an hour by the city, according to Dominick Pangallo, an aide to Driscoll.

The shovelers won’t be called out in every storm, only when Tomasz feels he needs them in the downtown. The extra help will take some of the burden off city crews, he said.

“If I’ve got my guys working 24 hours, I’ve got to give them a break,” he said. “This will get things done a little quicker for the public.”

Private property owners are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks no later than six hours after a storm ends. Businesses that don’t comply with the ordinance face fines of up to $100.

In addition to this downtown program, the city offers snow shoveling assistance to the elderly and infirm. For more information on that program, go to the city website ( and click on “Snow Shoveling Assistance Program” under the Public Works department.

Tom Dalton can be reached at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
Comments Tracker