Archived Story

Why did city not clear snow piles?

Published 10:50am Thursday, May 9, 2013

Well, it looks like spring has sprung, again. Let’s all say a prayer that it stays this time. I would like to thank the street department for getting the snow removed last week. Unfortunately, and I’m sure we have supervisors, the city manager or the mayor to blame for the trucks not finishing the job, as they have not finished the job all winter long.

Yes, they cleaned the downtown and put it in a nice pile in the middle of the street, but I guess since the weather report was for good weather they just figured we’ll leave it there to melt. How nice of you to think of us that way.

My other problem is city streets that have all winter long been neglected. When it has snowed, the plows come through and clear the streets until a car is found, and they have to go around it. That’s an understandable problem. That’s why I believe we need a snow ordinance in this town, which no one seems to want to talk about. But then the powers that be have not gone back this winter and not even last Thursday and Friday and cleaned the streets a second time. We were left with snow taking up a third of the road, whether there was a car parked there or not. No one could park in the handicapped zone next to my church because of all the snow piled up in the street. The trucks went around and made wide corners leaving people to have to make wide turns at corners, almost hitting people coming from the other direction. Yes, these piles were high; there was snow that looked the size of boulders. This wasn’t a snow that could easily be driven through, but no one felt it important to go back and clean up some of the worst areas, because it was going to melt anyway.

Well, thanks for the thinking of us again. I would have appreciated having less snow in the street for those couple of days. In the wintertime when this happened, the trucks didn’t return and the areas where people had their cars parked turned to ice and stayed that way the whole winter, never being cleaned until the next snowfall. What kind of street maintenance is that?

Now, granted, Owatonna did a lot less than our street department did, but they’re not our problem. Our problem is whoever decides whether the trucks will go out again after a snowfall to clean up areas where cars had been, or in last week’s case, to clean snow out of the streets so people could drive and park in safety. Even if your employees had taken the plows off the truck, you had plenty of warning this snow was coming and could have put them back on. Maybe the city fathers need to talk about a snow emergency policy if they’re not going to finish cleaning the streets off in the winter.


Kathy Diaz
Albert Lea