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Common Council president Pridgen says Buffalo's snow storm response will be addressed at Tuesday's meeting

Common Council President Darius Pridgen says they will be calling on DPW Commissioner Nate Marton to attend Tuesday's public meeting to discuss snowstorm response.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Common Council President says he has heard the residents of the Queen City loud and clear when it comes to the response to the lake effect snowstorm. 

"Could we have done better? Absolutely," Pridgen told 2 On Your Side. "If we could just have robots do all of the streets, that'll be one thing, but we had real people who had real families who were out for hours and hours and hours, and Mother Nature just kept sending snow."

Pridgen says the city's response to the storm will be addressed at Tuesday's 2 p.m. Common Council meeting. 

"For the first time, probably in my 12 years, we are considering having the Commissioner of Public Works come into a council meeting and discuss what went well and what didn't," Pridgen said. 

One of the topics Pridgen wants clarity on is the failed GPS fleet tracker that the Buffalo Department of Public Works unveiled earlier in November. 

The system stopped working within the first 48 hours of the storm. 

"I talked to the mayor several times today, they are really working hard to find out what happened, why that system crashed," Pridgen said. "It is important that residents are able to see whether their streets have been plowed out."

In the most recent update by DPW Commissioner Nate Marton, on Tuesday afternoon, the system still wasn't working. 

"We know it is not 100% functional, we continue to work on that," Marton said. "We're updating and working with the vendor, trying to bring that up online.

2 On Your Side has reached out to the system vendor, Citizen Insights, multiple times to learn more about the problems related to the failure of the snowplow tracking system. 

Citizen Insights hasn't responded. 

South District councilmember Chris Scanlon also has questions he wants to ask the DPW Commissioner. 

"I think it'd be smart to look at what equipment out there, if there's more advanced equipment for our fleet, right-size our fleet if that need is needed, and maybe approve some of those purchases as we move forward," Scanlon said. 

Scanlon says Buffalo is known for its snow and the frequency of big storms like what Buffalo just experienced can't be ignored. 

"This is a second large storm like this in about eight years," Scanlon said. "So if this is going to continue to be the trend, I think we're gonna have to look at augmenting that fleet a little bit. 

Council President Pridgen also wants the snow plan to be submitted to the council much earlier than the beginning of November. 

"We also are doing a resolution to change the date that the snow plan has to come to the council," Pridgen said. "It needs to be in the summer, not a week before a storm."

The common council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29 is at 2 p.m. and open to the public. 

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