During a recent snowstorm, the two hills that have traffic entering and exiting Summit Hill were shut down for a considerable amount of time, said Summit Hill Borough Council member Michael Alabovitz.
An ambulance sat at Hiles Brothers parking lot, waiting for PennDOT to either plow one of the hills or place anti-skid material on it.
Alabovitz said there was no way emergency vehicles could get in or out of the borough at that time.
He says this is unacceptable. As a result, he and the rest of council instructed the borough's workforce to take care of the Lansford-Summit Hill hill and the White Bear hill during such instances when PennDOT doesn't provide winter maintenance in a timely fashion.
Alabovitz said he is hoping that an arrangement can be made whereby PennDOT either reimburses the borough for such a service or gives the borough some anti-skid materials in return.
"Even if we don't get anything from them," the hills have to be opened, Alabovitz said.
That snowstorm was the second instance this winter season where the Lansford-Summit Hill hill was shut down for at least an hour.
On Nov. 21, several buses loaded with elementary children sat at the top of the hill for about two hours waiting for a PennDOT crew to alleviate the icy conditions.
Since then, PennDOT has assured it will respond to the hill in a more timely manner. However, during a storm earlier this month, motorists found themselves waiting again at the mercy of PennDOT.
The council will contact PennDOT about helping with the winter maintenance on the hill, "even if we get a truck load of salt," Alabovitz said.
Borough workforce supervisor Ron Yuricheck was instructed to use his judgment and maintain the hill whenever he feels it is necessary.