Spending a snowy morning with Rutland City DPW

The morning of a snowstorm brings the street division at the Rutland City Department of Public Works to life. Snow last week caught most of the region off guard.

RCDPW employee Brian Caroccia attaches a plow.

What was supposed to be a few inches turned into six or more in the area, so the DPW wasn’t taking any chances when last Wednesday’s storm hit.

“A weather man is the only job you can be wrong all the time and not get fired,” an employee said to the room’s agreement at the DPW office.

Dan Maniery, street manager for the DPW, is in charge of it all. He’s manning the phones, trying to find out who can do what and how long they can do it for.

Plow operators and their wingmen don’t have specific times to work until, but consider their schedule to align with the weather. Which usually means working until it’s all cleared.

Maniery said at midnight they would get the trucks out on the streets and remove snow with blowers and dump trucks.

Pete Kelley, who’s worked for the department for 37 years, tries to find a balance between cleaning up snow and not blocking people in, but admits defeat when there’s sometimes no way around it.

He said when he finally gets off he, too, will have to dig his car out from a bank caused by plows.

Driving down Woodstock Avenue, Maniery spots an out-of-state car following closely behind a city plow.

“That’s too close,” he said. “If the plow were to hit something or have to stop suddenly that car would rear-end it.”

Cars and plows don’t always go together.

Kelley said he remembers a time when a car tried to pass him on the right side, which is typically where the snow is being offset.

When asked what the citizens could do to symbiotically travel with the plow, Maniery said simply, “Just don’t crowd it.”