Entries Tagged 'snow removal' ↓
June 12th, 2013 — FEMA, SF City Council, Sioux Falls, snow removal
Well, there is a least one good thing that came from the ice storm, during the city council meeting last night, Finance Director, Tracy Turbak admitted that we will ‘probably’ be getting FEMA money, after the State and FEMA evaluate the city’s expenses associated with the cleanup. But we probably won’t be compensated until 2014.
So please, let’s drop it.
If you watch last night’s meeting what stuck out was how much money went towards ‘private contractors’ (DOC: ICESTORM )
Out of the $9 million total cost of cleanup, $6.2 million went to hire private contractors. City Personnel costs were only $1.1 million. This kind of surprised me, because if you were following our local media, listening to the mayor or city council, they were throwing out Kudos to city employees and volunteers like root beer candies at a Fourth of July parade.
Sure, there was a ‘mention’ of private contractors ‘helping out’ but not to this extent. Two-Thirds of the total cost went towards them.
On a positive note, that is REAL economic impact. Unfortunately many of the contractors were from out of state, and that money won’t be recirculated into our community.
But one wonders how much of this money made some local contractors very rich, very quick?
No doubt, the city could not have cleaned up this storm on their own, and independent contractors were needed, but I think in the future there should be a constingency plan put in place for such emergencies to make sure contractors are not gouging tax payers or individual property owners.
Without a doubt the city with the help of the private contractors did a fine job of cleaning up our city so quickly, but why do I feel like the ‘cleanup’ took us to the ‘cleaners’?
May 13th, 2013 — Media, Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
May 5th, 2013 — FEMA, Sioux Falls, snow removal, Taxes
So let me get this straight . . .
We don’t want to take money from FEMA because they are the big bad Feds (who we actually pay taxes to, so we are essentially taking money from OURSELVES to fix a problem WE have).
Then we find out we don’t need to take the money because the city is in ‘fine financial shape’ so we pay for this branch cleanup out of the city coffers (also our money).
Factor in that the city has saved millions this winter due to the lack of snow and snow removal (somewhere around $7 million).
So why hasn’t the city been budgeting for tree trimming all along? We apparently have the money to do the ENTIRE city at one fast blast, why not section it off over a 5 year cycle?
Funny how the city conveniently ‘doesn’t have the money’ in a normal budget cycle, but when a natural disaster occurs we have all kinds of cashola, enough to give the FEDS a middle finger and to cleanup the whole kit and kaboodle.
My suggestion is to implement a program every year to trim the trees in the boulevard, because, you know, like, we have the money. Oh, yeah, and F’CK the Feds who wants their (our) money anyhoo?
April 15th, 2013 — Art, snow removal, Snowgates
(after the ice storm of 2013)
Let us walk the asphalt sea
now that the ice is off the trees
and view the islands of debris.
Let us speak
of easier times,
and building a home
Remember that owl sitting in the walnut
where the big branch used to be?
let us stroll and reminisce
and share the future’s hopeful kiss.
—Steve Boint (author of “Frail as Paper”)
March 3rd, 2013 — Sanford Hospital, Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
Sell advertising on snowgates!
March 3rd, 2013 — Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
While this video may be of the extreme, I have often believed that the private contractors DO NOT want to deal with snowgates and that is the reason there is so much opposition to snowgates.
February 26th, 2013 — Art, snow removal, Snowgates
I listened to an attorney and a prominent doctor in town discuss the medical dangers of scooping snow out of the end of their driveways, tonight at work. They both confessed to me, ‘Snowgates’ are the way to go.
While I tried to make some time elapse image of snowgates in use, I think I got to ‘photoshoppy’. But, as for art, this turned out pretty cool.
February 25th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
I missed the first major snow event, as the storm was hitting Thursday night, I was sitting on the runway at the SF airport waiting for them to plow it so we could takeoff to Vegas. Sunny and 70 most of the weekend.
Had to chuckle though, I noticed one of the payloader plows at the SF airport has double snowgates on the front end loader. Good enough I guess for the airport just not for the citizens of Sioux Falls.
I have heard mixed reviews today about snowgates. A loyal DaCola reader is in the testing area this year, and his parents were last year. he shot video, but I have not had a chance to upload it yet. He did tell me though that they worked wonderful in his neighborhood but did notice they didn’t bother dropping them in intersections and by curb sidewalks (which would be a great use for them).
Snowgate advocate, Stehly went out with a friend to do some ‘snowgate’ watching. As she followed the operators she noticed they went very slow (under 5 mph) and sometimes would actually stop mid driveway, and only get half of the inlet. She also experienced one operator claiming the gate broke (brand new) and he literally sat in his snowplow for an hour just waiting for someone to show up and fix it, then decided to take a break. LOL.
Stehly noticed several times that the drivers were not maintaning a consistant speed, and seemed like they were not properly trained to run the snowgate or just did not care. This is unfortunate, because if the gates are to be tested properly, they have to be operated properly. I have often suspected some ‘mild’ sabotage going on.
Stehly called the head of the snowgate department at Henke Manufacturing and asked him about how they were operating the snowgates, he said, “The drivers should be able to maintain a consistant speed while operating the gates (around 20 MPH).” In other words they shouldn’t be stopping and starting up.
There has also been talk that the street department wants to test snowgates another year. Enough already, the election has already been postponed 16 months. Let’s vote on them already.
February 12th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
Sioux Falls code enforcement’s motto, “Do as we say, not as we do.”
Bumpy and icy neighborhood side streets have some people in Sioux Falls concerned about snow removal policies.
After our weekend snow storm, city plows cleared off main and secondary streets, but officials only clear off residential streets when there is a snow alert.
That’s an issue for some homeowners and it has to do with shoveling. They want to know why the city doesn’t have to plow some of these streets, but they’ll get fined for not shoveling their sidewalks. People are out chipping away at thick ice and shoveling that wet snow.
According to a city release, you have until 2 p.m. Tuesday to clean and clear your sidewalks, or you’ll have to pay for it. The people we talked to wonder why the city doesn’t follow these rules when it comes to clearing all of our streets.
Some streets are slick and bumpy; many of them have deep ruts at the intersections. All of this could make for a dangerous drive.
I was smart and scooped that greasy crap Sunday night before it turned into a sheet of ice. Besides if it stays warm over the next couple of days, the ice will be gone in no time. But, hey if you live on ‘Mayoral’ St. Charles Lane, where the mayor lives, you get a nice chemical sprayed down for you because it is a ‘secondary’ snow route and the only route coming out of that development*. Well guess what, I live on a street that is a deadend on either end and I have to drive on a different street to get over to Cliff Avenue. and usually I have to plow my car thru a gigantic ridge of snow and ice to get onto Cliff (something that could be eliminated with snowgates). The mayor is slowly separating the working class from the ruling class in Sioux Falls. If you belong to the ruling class you get icemelt on your street, you can blab at meetings as long as you want about needing a TIF or an indoor pool. If you belong to the working class they intimidate you with code enforcement violations (that you are not legally obligated to pay) and stifle your free speech rights while disregarding your petitions.
*Rumor has it that St. Charles Lane has also been resurfaced TWICE since Huether has been mayor. I do know another media source in SF has tried to obtain those records from Public Works, but has been unsuccessful thus far.
February 11th, 2013 — Michelle Erpenbach, Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
Erpenbach, “I want to hear from the public, unless it is about snowgates.”
In this episode of Inside Town Hall you can watch councilor Erpenbach talk out of both sides of her mouth about snowgates and indoor swimming pools.
During the first half of the show Michelle reminds us why we need another 16 months to educate ourselves about snowgates before an April 2014 election, that she ‘guarantees’ will happen.
Then in the second half of the show she talks about how she is ‘just one person’ that cannot possibly make the decision of building an indoor pool at Spellerberg without input from the public.
What a hypocrite. Over 8,000 people told you on a petition they WANTED a snowgate election this Spring. Then when over 30 of the snowgate petition volunteers showed up to a public meeting to tell you why this election was important, you limited their testimony, and as ONE PERSON took it upon yourself to deny the wishes of the people.
Michelle, you don’t give a rip about what the public thinks, about anything.