This week’s column concerns mutual aid and is in two parts. I am reminded of the barn raisings of over a century ago where neighbors got together to help a friend build a barn. Today, there are similar events in our communities across our great country. These are called house raisings (Habitat for Humanity, for example) and occur when people come together to build homes for the displaced, homeless, or where tragedy has struck. Even in Parma, mutual aid was clearly evident when, in May of 2011, the community came together to help the family of Gage Driscoll rebuild their family home. Many, many people came together to assist in building, painting, cleaning, and roofing the Driscoll home. The community was stronger because of that collaboration for a common need.
The same can be said regarding the relationship the City of Parma has with Notus – Parma Highway District. Were it not for the assistance of the Highway District, the amount of work the City would get done on roads would be significantly less. For example, the City does not own a gravel spreader or a roller. These are essential pieces of equipment that are needed when roads are oiled. Furthermore, the city does not employ enough people to man the equipment. So, without the help of the Highway District, the city roads would not be in as good shape as they are.
This relationship of mutual aid is critical to the operation and maintenance of our city’s streets. The cost of purchasing or leasing the equipment necessary to maintain our streets would prevent the City from doing as much as we do, not to mention the fact that the equipment would sit unused for much of the year. The Highway District maintains over 200 running miles of roads, it has the equipment necessary to complete its job, and because of that, it has the equipment the City needs to take care of its roads as well.
When the Highway District gets ready to oils its roads, three of the City maintenance men work with the Highway District’s crew. The City also supplies a dump truck. Later on, when the City is ready to oil some of its 26.2 miles of road, the District will supply the man power and equipment the City needs to complete its own projects. In this way, both the City and the Highway District get their work completed on time and on budget.
At this time, as Mayor of the City of Parma, I would like to publically thank the men of the Notus – Parma Highway District for their continued help with equipment, operators, and material in support of the City’s streets. You are a treasure to Parma. Thank you so very much.
Next time, mutual cooperation and other business in Parma.