Downtown Noblesville businesses don’t have to worry about shoveling snow from the sidewalks outside of their storefronts this year. Due to a new city budget item, there are two new street department employees solely focused on the downtown.
“One of the big things they’ll be doing is providing sidewalk snow removal for downtown businesses,” Communications Manager Robert Herrington said. “Before now, all the businesses had to do it themselves. Part of what we are trying to do is help downtown business owners and also the downtown in general. Now, when business owners go in (in the morning), it’s safe and it’s also safe for customers or clients.”
In the past, some downtown business proprietors shoveled their sidewalks and others didn’t, so the service wasn’t consistent.
The two new employees, who began in April, are Thad Gilliam and Jedidiah Henson. Besides salting sidewalks, Gilliam and Henson are responsible for emptying trash cans and wiping down lids, sweeping sidewalks, collecting cigarette butts on the ground, ensuring light bulbs in all downtown fixtures are illuminated, placing flower pots and banners and landscaping in parking lots, among other tasks.
Herrington said when snow is forecast, staff members work24 hours applying brine to streets and removing snow. He expects the downtown street staff to operate similarly.
“This is the first winter we have these two people,” Herrington said. “They haven’t been through a winter cycle yet, so we don’t know the exact plans.”