Chips in for Snow Removal and more
(Crystal A. Proxmire, 2/6/2011)
As the snow falls in Ferndale and the DPW (Department of Public Works) Drivers are out pulling 12 hour shifts to keep the roads passable and safe, they aren’t the only ones taking care of inches of cold, wet, white flakes. Residents, business and property owners also work hard to keep the sidewalks and fire hydrants in their area clear. Those that don’t could be fined by the City.
But for those that live on the Northwest corner of town, snow days are a lot easier thanks to The Woodland Park Improvement Association (WPIA). And also to Clinton Rasch, the kind neighbor who gets up bright and early with his monster snow blower to clear the walkways of W. Oakridge, W. Drayton, W. Woodland, W. Maplehurst and part of W. Lewiston as part of a low-cost agreement with the WPIA.
Residents in the WPIA pay just $15 in dues each year, and the money goes towards supporting Rasch’s efforts whenever the snow gets over a couple of inches. The fee also goes towards an annual block party, luminaries on Christmas Eve, website costs and other costs of maintaining the group. The WPIA is a registered non-profit began as an organization formed in 1924 to preserve the neighborhood from eminent domain when Woodward Avenue was widened. In 1946 it was officially incorporated.
Snow removal had been a benefit since 1954, Although there is payment given, the snow removal is really a labor of love. He’d been doing his immediate neighbors for two years prior to committing to the entire five-street area. “We have a lot of seniors in the neighborhood, and a lot of people that walk,” said the W. Woodland resident. “It feels good helping other people that would have a harder time with it than I would.”
Tiffani Gagne, Block Director for the easternmost block of W. Woodland, says that while not everyone pays the $15 dues, the low cost service offered by Rasch means that even those who can’t afford to pay still benefit. “We are a neighborhood group and realize not everyone is able to pay. There are many residents who write a check for more than the $15 annual dues amount to help cover those who cannot pay and to ensure that services can be maintained for the entire organization,” Gagne said.
Karen Breen-Bondie, Carol Frederick, Michelle Delacourt, Darcey McLaughlin, Katrina Collins, Debbie Sobolewski, Garry Andrews, Kerry Keener, Sharon King, Diane Dengate, Jessica Gustke, Scott Helmer, Tiffani Gagne and Pat and Mike Owens are all Block Directors and/or officers, tasked with collecting the annual dues and helping to organize events like the Christmas Eve luminaries and the WPIA Block Sale.
The WPIA will be holding their annual meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2011 from 7-9 p.m. at Roosevelt Elementary School in the media center. The meeting is open to the public and a local official will be present to speak at the beginning of the meeting. Gagne said that while the agenda has not yet been prepared, the WPIA will be electing a new president and new vice-president, and that all residents within the association are welcome to apply. For more information about the WPIA, check out their website at: www.wpiaferndale.org.