Mayor gives roads update, responds to criticism about his vacation

The city is continuing efforts to widen roadways today, according to Mayor Mark Lauretti.

“I believe that one lane of every road is open and today we are starting to widen roads,” Lauretti said. “We have about 20 private contractors to help with that effort. The rain yesterday did make things tougher since the snow was heavy.”

Schools and city buildings were closed again today and schools are closed again Wednesday. He said city hall may be back open Wednesday. The Board of Education central office was open today.

“There is no sense spending time on city buildings and schools when it’s a problem for people to get out and get to them,” Lauretti said. “We certainly don’t want to put school buses out in this. Our priority is the roads."

He said things may not be completely back to normal in Shelton until Friday.

Lauretti was on vacation when the storm hit but is back in the city. He said that while he was away, when the storm hit, he was working constantly, saying he has the phone records to prove it.

“My work day started 2 a.m. Saturday when the storm hit, lining up private contractors because our equipment couldn’t push the snow,” he said. “We had very few break-downs but our plows were getting stuck.”

He called the criticism about his vacation “political.”

“I’ll get a crystal ball, so next time I schedule a vacation I’ll know if a storm will hit,” the mayor said.

“The critics have no idea what is involved in clearing 208 miles of road with 3 and half feet of snow on them,” he said.

The mayor said the city has been working 24 hours every day, “since the first snowflake fell.”

The Public Works employees have been working non-stop. The mayor asked Verace Restaurant to open after the storm, to help feed the employees working around the clock.