First Spearfish;

SPEARFISH — Tuesday’s general election in Spearfish settled a debate over snow-removal practices, but city officials said Wednesday that residents had better prepare for changes to when the streets get plowed.

The new ordinance prohibits city plowing crews from pushing snow into private driveways while cleaning streets after a snowfall. Currently, plows can push snow from the street, which can block driveways along the route. Residents frequently become frustrated when they shovel a path from the garage to the street, only to find the city has plowed it shut later during the day.

Maybe we should put it on the ballot in Sioux Falls – then we can stop hearing excuses from the Public Works department. Put up or shut up.

And in Brandon;

The Brandon City Council has decided that the city will take care of trimming trees that are in the boulevard; that is, between the sidewalk and the street. The council is so committed to this that they are reimbursing everyone for the last two years who paid for this service themselves, whether the city did the work and billed the resident, or whether the resident hired a private company to do the work.

The council reasons that the boulevard is city property; therefore, the trees are city responsibility.

That last line is important, it has been my reasoning all along. Don’t trim the boulevard trees and don’t pay the fine, the city has no constitutional right to charge you to take care of their property.

12 Thoughts on “Two SD cities get it, provide citizens with services they pay for with tax dollars

  1. This is a nasty slippery slope to start down. Next thing you know, someone’s gonna get PO’d about having to pay for maintenance on sidewalks, then curb and gutter, then storm sewer, then streets and roads, water, sewer, parks etc. -and WIN.

    Citizenship comes with rights – AND responsibilities.

  2. Yes. We are responsible for paying taxes so that our city provides us a service in return.

  3. Costner on November 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm said:

    So do you expect the city to mow the grass in the boulevard too? What about having the city come around and rake up all of the leaves that fell from their trees?

    Are you willing to accept higher property taxes to hire an additional 150 parks employees to maintain thousands of acres of “city owned” boulevards? Why or why not?

    I find it is likely much more efficient and cost-effective to let homeowners maintain the landscaping in their boulevards. If they don’t want to water it they don’t have to. If they don’t want to worry about trimming trees then don’t plant any, or don’t buy a home with existing trees.

    I for one would much rather trim the trees in my boulevard than live in Brandon… that isn’t a very good trade-off in my view. You may also wish to check what property taxes are in Brandon versus Sioux Falls – and then tell me if you think they are really getting more for their money.

  4. I’d rather have control over how the trees in my boulevard look (properly pruned vs. either shaggy or butchered up) than to save a couple hours a year by letting them go until the city steps in and does it THEIR way.

  5. The tree issue doesn’t matter to me, but proper snow removal is a safety issue.

  6. Tree trimming is a safety issue to. I can go down ANY block in this city during the summer and find a tree limb that is hanging too low that could endanger pedestrians or fall on cars. The city carries the liability on the blvd and the trees, they are responsible for their maintenance. Pretty cut and dry if you ask me. If the city wants to gift the sidewalk and blvd to the homeowners, go for it, but until that happens, they cover the insurance so they are responsible.

  7. redhatterb on November 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm said:

    I agree that the city should trim the trees in the boulevards and if a person doesn’t like the way they look you can always go out and shape them a little bit. When the city tells a person the trees have to be trimmed, the city should be responsible for it.

  8. Buzz Evenrude on November 11, 2010 at 1:01 am said:

    I’m torn. Brandon and Spearfish hardly qualify as “cities”. But I digress…Personally I like the fact that our code enforcement officers are hard ass in SF. Last time I was west river, I was amazed by what a shithole that area has become. Between all the sporadic trailers mixed in with the nice homes and signs everywhere, I’m glad I live in SF

  9. Yeah, it’s great that we live in a over regulated city that not only tells you how you have to maintain your property but tell us how we should maintain their property.

  10. Costner on November 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm said:

    The thing is it isn’t like this is a new policy. The city has had the same policy on tree trimming for what… decades upon decades?

    If you don’t like it and have such a problem with it, why did you buy a home in Sioux Falls knowing full well there were established trees in the “city owned” boulevard?

    You could always move to Brandon I suppose, but I can tell you right now you wouldn’t care for it much. They might trim some trees from time to time, but when much of the town doesn’t even have sidewalks much less boulevards it is sort of a different issue.

    Maybe you could run for city council and see if this issue is as important to other voters in your district as it is to you. If this is really an issue of injustice as you continually pretend it is, you shouldn’t have any issue getting elected.

  11. Actually I think it was voted in the late 80’s or early 90’s, Not ‘Decades ago.’

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