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Shop owners miffed at ice, snow cleanup; city gives storm response at Council

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, January 25, 2016

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Lisa Garland shovels ice from parking places in front of the Stomping Grounds on Trade Street.
 

Jim Fair

Lisa Garland shovels ice from parking places in front of the Stomping Grounds on Trade Street.

 



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Victoria Street remained icy and the sidewalks were covered with snow Monday from this weekend's snowstorm.
 

Jim Fair

Victoria Street remained icy and the sidewalks were covered with snow Monday from this weekend's snowstorm.

 



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The sidewalk along Victoria Arms apartments, where residents 65-years and older live, remains untouched. 
 

Jim Fair

The sidewalk along Victoria Arms apartments, where residents 65-years and older live, remains untouched. 

 



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Jason Clark, owner of BIN112 and Strip Club 104 A Steak House, shoveled and salted the sidewalk from the corner of Victoria and Trade to Poinsett and Main Street for businesses and neighbors.
 
 

Jim Fair

Jason Clark, owner of BIN112 and Strip Club 104 A Steak House, shoveled and salted the sidewalk from the corner of Victoria and Trade to Poinsett and Main Street for businesses and neighbors.

 

 



Snow and ice removal from downtown streets was the hottest topic at the Stomping Grounds Saturday night. And it continued Monday.

About 50 people from nearby neighborhoods and downtown businesses and apartments gathered Saturday at the Stomping Grounds coffee and wine shop as it was virtually the only business open.

An ice and snowstorm Friday and early Saturday morning, dropped nearly a half-inch of ice and five inches of snow downtown, according to the weather stations. Higher snow accumulation was reported north of Greer.

Shop owners were calling for city officials to include downtown streets, specifically Trade, Victoria, School and Depot, in its cleanup plan. Throughout Saturday, the downtown streets were still covered with snow and ice, making vehicle travel and walking treacherous.

City Administrator Ed Driggers will brief city council Tuesday night on the city’s storm response at its regularly scheduled meeting at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited.

"We encourage any City of Greer business or resident who has a question or comment about services provided by the city to contact us for answers, clarification or to work toward a resolution,” Driggers stated.

“I am kind of disappointed that the roads were not cleared,” Lisa Garland, owner of the Stomping Grounds on Trade Street, said. “Three different individuals fell on the ice in downtown (Saturday) and they were all workers in downtown stores.”

Stomping Grounds, celebrating its fourth anniversary Tuesday, has been a mainstay in the community and has opened through almost all weather. Lisa and her husband, Grey, and son, Jackson, lived above the coffee shop until moving to a nearby neighborhood within walking distance.

Lisa shoveled a thin path from the street to the curb for her customers Saturday. Monday morning she was shoveling the parking area in front of her shop for her customer’s safety but as soon as she went back into the shop two vehicles quickly parked in the spots – both occupants spending hours in her shop.

“I am surprised not any more effort to clean Trade and Victoria was made,” Tammy Campbell of Shear Faith said. “Our customers had issues with the icy sidewalks (on Victoria) and the streets downtown. I actually pulled into a parking spot on Victoria Street and got stuck.”

Jason Clark, owner of BIN112 and Strip Club 104 A Steak House, lives adjacent to his restaurant on Victoria Street.

“Look, I think differently than the people in the south,” Clark, from Washington, D.C., said. “I am not thinking bad of anyone. The city isn’t equipped to shovel sidewalks. I have a whole different perspective. Clear access to the roads.”

“If you want your business open shovel the front of your business and sidewalk,” Clark said. “I grew up with a shovel. If it snowed you first cleared a path from the sidewalk to the street and to the mailbox.”

That’s what Clark did Saturday. He shoveled his block from the corner of Victoria Street past his two restaurants, Strip Club 101 on Poinsett Street, to the corner of Main Street.

“Our city roads and streets are our primary concerns,” Mayor Rick Danner said. “Typically when we clean and we’re done, the mush is pushed to the side of the streets and people will have more to deal with.”

Clark said that was typical of the north as snow was pushed against vehicles to clear a path for travel. This weekend’s mega winter storm Jonas dumped a record 24 inches of snow in D.C. and 25-35 inches between the nation’s capital and Baltimore, according to media reports.

Business owners and patrons couldn’t agree if they saw a city vehicle sand the streets in advance of the storm or see a snow plow scrape the central business streets. Danner said the city typically prepares the streets anticipating ice or snow when it is forecast.

Victoria Street is Clark’s and Randy Jones’s only way in out of their residences.

Residents at the Victoria Arms apartments found they were virtually locked in with about an inch layer of ice on School and Victoria Streets through Saturday. “We had to get Cliff Harpst out (89-year-old resident) for his food because he couldn’t get out. Plus he doesn’t know how to cook,” Lisa Garland said.

“The (Victoria) street and sidewalks will be snow and ice covered through next week,” Campbell said.

Business owners appeared confused whose responsibility it was for clearing the sidewalks of snow and ice. They were also unsatisfied snow and ice remained on downtown streets longer than other city roads and streets.

“It’s my understanding that the businesses are responsible for clearing the pathways and walkways around their businesses,” Danner said.

 

 

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