Headlines for October 25, 2022

The Coalition for Snow-free Sidewalks and Crosswalks has banded together with Bike Walk Tompkins, Finger Lakes Independence Center, Tompkins County Office for the Aging, and some city residents. They’re pressuring the local government to take pedestrian snow removal more seriously. In the city of Ithaca, property owners are responsible for clearing snow from adjoining sidewalks. However, crosswalks often remain blocked and, according to the Ithaca Times, the Department of Public Works does not regard clearing snow from crosswalks as one of its responsibilities. The department only removes snow from streets, and the Coalition wants to change that.. The group also wants better city enforcement of residents cleaning the sidewalks in front of their properties’, and to remedy the issue of street plows that often throw snow and slush onto curbs that owners have already cleared. 

Tompkins County is considering investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into their EMS services as EMS volunteers continue to decline. The lack of new volunteers reflects national patterns, especially in suburban areas, where many EMT, paramedic, and ambulance roles offer little to no pay. According to the Ithaca Voice, the county budget is considering creating an EMS Program Manager position to investigate what gaps in service need the most investment. The new position would also work to establish a training program designed to bring in future volunteers. 

New Yorkers can decide the fate of The Clean Water, Clean Energy, Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act on election day. According to the Times Union, Governor Huchul has amassed significant support for the fund since its inclusion in the state budget in 2021. Hundreds of environmental preservation groups and businesses that endorsed the spending measure hail it as “the largest down payment on climate change and infrastructure projects in a generation.” The act would lead to heavy state investment in improving wastewater systems and drinking water systems, fostering the creation of 84,000 green jobs, and furthering the energy efficiency of school buses and state buildings. The act will also designate at least 35 percent of the funds for projects in historically disadvantaged communities across the state.

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