‘Sweeping’ changes set for Dover

DOVER — The city of Dover’s Public Works Streets Division — which oversees street maintenance through much of the city — recently made a sweeping decision that will affect Dover’s streets each calendar year.

Sharon J. Duca, director of the Public Works Department, said that street sweeping operations within the city will be suspended from Jan. 1 until March 31 each year due to freezing temperatures that could cause damage to the street sweepers.

The stoppage will affect both daytime and nighttime operations.

“We had recently gotten a new street sweeper and when we were going through the operations with manufacturer, they told us that it is recommended not to run street-sweeping operations in certain temperatures,” Ms. Duca said. “You’ve got to take care of equipment.

“While it is important that the city of Dover maintains this important operational service, the city must sustain the life and operational capabilities of its street sweepers by adhering to the vehicle manufacturer’s operating guidelines.”

The city recently purchased a new street sweeper for $230,000 to work alongside another street sweeper owned by the city that is around eight- to 10-years-old.

The city also announced the Dover Police Department will not be enforcing parking restrictions downtown during the postponement of street sweeping from Jan. 1 thru March 31.

In areas where signs are posted regarding no parking for street sweeping, the signs will be covered up and no tickets will be issued.

The city plans on installing replacement signs in the future.

As for any debris that might build up on the streets during the first quarter of the year, Ms. Duca said the Public Works Department will keep an eye out for it.

“That’s something where we will try to keep an eye on it,” she said. “If there’s a critical situation, a lot of debris on the street, we could go out and clean it up when we got a warmer day, which we always seem to get every now and then in the winter. We would try to address any problems during the daytime.”

A city of Dover social media post, asking patience from residents, stated, “It is our intention to continue to provide a level of service that is productive, proactive and presentable. As we work to provide our residents and visitors alike with quality service, we ask for your patience and understanding during this transition. Please join us in supporting these street sweeping changes as we continue to work hard for you.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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