The city has started an investigation after a city sidewalk plow was videotaped crashing into a free little library outside of a Levack house and leaving the broken box lying in the roadway.
The video, which resident Chantelle Gorham posted to social media pages where it’s gaining traction, shows a sidewalk plow slam into a free little library and continue forward, leaving it broken in the street.
In photographs of its aftermath included in the video, Gorham includes images of two pillars outside her house, which she said were damaged by the plow.
Gorham said the video was filmed at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. You can watch the video of the incident below.
As an outspoken critic of the city’s snow-clearing efforts, Gorham alleges the incident was a deliberate attack.
“It would be easy to jump to a conclusion, but without a proper investigation it’s inappropriate for me to come to a conclusion,” city general manager of Growth and Infrastructure Tony Cecutti told Sudbury.com.
“It would certainly appear that the work that was being done is not consistent with what we would say would be our standard operating practice.”
In the video, Gorham alleges a subsequent interaction with the plow’s operator took place in which harsh words were exchanged, but it was not captured on tape.
“I think it’s outrageous,” Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier told Sudbury.com after viewing the video. “It’s totally disrespectful.”
“Flabbergasted” by what he saw in the video, Montpellier added that he receives complaints about the city’s snow management on a regular basis, which he passes on to the city.
Montpellier said he is attending a community meeting at the Onaping Falls Golden Age Club at 6 p.m. tonight to hear what people have to say about snow maintenance and other city matters.
Cecutti said it doesn’t take much for a snow plow to damage property, and that incidents tend to be investigated quickly, unless they need to wait until the snow melts to see the damage.
“Most people contact us through 311, they’ll notify us if we’ve hit a mailbox or damaged a culvert. In some cases you can’t do the investigation until the spring, but it still gets logged into our work system for a work order,” he said. “Sometimes we need a third-party to assist us in a repair.”
In events where there’s disagreement between the city and resident as to what caused the damage, people can make a claim against the city following a process outlined by clicking here.
As of mid-day Wednesday, Gorham said she was still waiting for a response from the city after complaining about the incident through the 311 help line on Tuesday.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.