If there’s one thing I’ve learned in over 40 years of living here is that Sioux Falls residents do NOT want the city to take any shortcuts when it comes to taking care of our streets (ALL of them) during (or preceding) winter weather..and they don’t give a rip what it costs.
Apparently our new mayor doesn’t see it that way and has concluded that there’s plenty of fat to be trimmed from the snow removal budget..so he’s decided that, to save money, Sioux Falls will no longer pre-treat our streets with chemicals before ice and snow storms. Plus secondary routes and side streets will not be treated unless it’s warranted. Warranted? Nobody’s asking that the plows roll for every inch deep snowfall but folks would certainly appreciate and deserve to have a sand/salt truck to come by rather than wait for a warm sunny day to take care of the frozen rutty streets.
How many drivers in the last week were involved in fender bending accidents that might have been prevented if somebody at city hall would have glanced up at a weather radar screen to see that freezing rain or snow was headed our way; time to dispatch the chemical trucks. Nope, that’s not the policy anymore. Of course drivers need to be more cautious when the weather stinks, but come on…if there’s a way to make the streets safer and we don’t take advantage of it because of the cost…well, that’s just wrong.
Mr. Mayor, why don’t you have a little public gathering outside the comfortable but cramped confines of the Wisk and Chop or go door to door and ask local taxpayers how they feel about your bright idea to cut back on winter street services to save a few bucks.
I’ll save you the trouble. Here’s what most will say: “Spend whatever it takes..but we want our streets treated and plowed as soon as humanly possible.” “If we can’t afford to keep our streets up, how in the %$^&* can we afford to spend a couple hundred million dollars on an events center we actually do NOT need.”
I’ve always wondered what happens to the money in the snow removal budget that goes unused in those years when we have open winters and the plows pretty much stay parked. Apparently it winds up in some other kitty.
Just a thought, here. Why not create a special account (hey, you could call it a “slush” fund) where unspent snow removal dollars are deposited. Allow it to build up and earn interest during dry years and draw from it when we have those biblical proportion winters?
I can hear it now..hizhonor saying in his infamously colorful language..Lund hasn’t got a @#$%&! clue about how city government works. And that’s true..but I do know people in this town pretty well and would bet my social security check that the majority look at snow removal like health insurance..it’s expensive and we hope it’s never needed but if and when the time comes, don’t be cutting any corners. We want the best care possible.
I wonder if I let my sidewalk go un-shoveled this winter city officials will show up on my unplowed side street to give me a ticket.