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Shortage of snowplow drivers in Hartford triggers a state of emergency

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HARTFORD, N.Y.(NEWS10) – The town of Hartford is down to two plow truck drivers this winter. 

Hartford Highway Superintendent Greg Brown explains how they got to this point. 

“They left for a better paying job. Not one of them wanted to leave. They wanted to stay here because they love working here,” said Brown.

David Swezey who used to be a plow truck driver in Hartford before he quit this past December has his own reason for leaving.

“I had to leave because I have a family at home. I have three kids I needed to make a living to support my kids,” said Swezey.

Brown says this is the fourth year he has fought for a fair wage for his workers with no relief.

Town Council Member Keith Harrington also weighed in on the matter.

“I just want to see it be a fair wage. I don’t think $22 [an hour] is out of the question,” said Harrington.

 He also has concerns for the people who live here.

“A lot of our residents are commuters and go to work in other towns,” said the council member.

“If we don’t have clean roads to get everybody to work, we’re putting everybody in danger just to be able to get to their job every day,” continued Harrington.

Hartford School Superintendent, Andrew Cook has another concern because of the driver shortage.

“Our concern from the school district and the members of the Board of Education [is] that with the limited staff at the highway department, there could be times where the school is going to have to close where we otherwise wouldn’t. Because it’s unsafe for our buses to transport students,” said Cook.

NEWS10 has reached out to the Town Supervisor’s office but they were closed at the time we reached out. NEWS10 has also reached out to the Teamsters Local 294 for a comment and are waiting for a response.

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