City, county services remain essential during pandemic

CORNING - The city Public Works Department, like many in Steuben County and throughout the nation, continues to maintain essential services during the response to COVID-19.


The city Public Works Department is providing trash/recycling collection, water/sewer services, traffic signal repairs, and other emergency repairs, said Larry Wagner, city superintendent of public works.


“Our employees are providing essential services while doing their best to social distance and disinfect work areas,” Wagner said.


City Manager Mark Ryckman said the city Public Works Department consists of the Streets Division, Sewer, Buildings & Grounds, Fleet Division, Water Department, and Wastewater Treatment Plant.


“The Public Works Department is doing an excellent job maintaining essential services,” Ryckman said. “They are also helping to keep employee work areas sanitized.”


Steuben County Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti said the county landfill and transfer stations remain open with full staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, but in other DPW departments some employees are working from home.


Spagnoletti said the county has eight highway shops in Steuben County and only the supervisors of each department works daily at the shop daily.


“They check an area of roads in the county for potholes, and trees and signs down,” Spagnoletti said. “People are called in if needed for work to be completed. All services are being completed.”


Flushable wipes becoming problem


CORNING - Disposing of “flushable” wipes and disinfectant wipes in the toilet are creating problems for sewage disposal.


The city wants to remind the public that only human wastes and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet, according to Larry Wagner, city superintendent of public works. Even though products are marketed as “flushable”, they should not be disposed of in the toilet.


Wagner said these wipes do not break down like toilet paper and can clog a resident’s sewer piping or the city’s sewer main pipe.


They can cause backups which are costly and inconvenient for the city, homeowners and businesses, said City Manager Mark Ryckman. These wipes also cause problems with equipment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.


“These types of wipes are marketed as ’flushable,’ but they are causing issues with our sanitary sewer system,” Ryckman said.


Wagner asks residents to please dispose of all disposable flushable wipes, sanitary wipes, and paper towels in the trash.


“Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet,” Wagner said.