The Garden City Telegram
10/4/2012
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Slick move

Garden City embraced push for improved snow removal.

In an area that receives infrequent snowstorms, there's little room for error for city crews when such weather does strike.

Many people simply aren't accustomed to navigating snowy, icy streets. So, rarely is the snow and ice removed before people decide they've had their fill of the mess.

And it was a particularly daunting situation last winter after a blizzard that dumped as much as 15 inches of snow left a lingering annoyance for motorists in Garden City.

City crews took plenty of heat as the snow and ice persisted, instead of melting in short order as often happens. The city's snow removal policy relied on more assistance from the sun melting the snow and ice as a way to save tax dollars for snow removal.

Mother Nature, however, failed to cooperate in that instance. Citizens, naturally, became incensed by the lack of progress in clearing the snow and ice in the city.

Acknowledging room for improvement, Garden City officials went to work on updating a snow removal and emergency plan in place since 2004.

Details of changes to come emerged during Tuesday's Garden City Commission meeting as commissioners approved the plan that promises to tackle snow and ice in a more efficient way.

Strategies range from adding a truck and new snow removal equipment to the existing fleet to getting ahead of the weather with earlier forecasts.

Snow removal crews also plan to pursue more anti-icing practices, and law enforcement will crack down on anyone who leaves a vehicle parked on main thoroughfares considered emergency routes.

It's never easy. The public should know the process of making sure streets are clear and safe after snow hits isn't simple, or tackled in a haphazard fashion. Cities have specific systems that outline and prioritize emergency snow routes, residential snow removal, snow removal around schools and other particulars.

The city should be more prepared this winter, which hopefully means better results when snow and ice stick around longer. After all, knowing the city invested in a new plan understandably could make local residents all the more impatient where snow removal is concerned.