Do you agree or disagree with the city deciding not to plow residential streets?

I will say this, I do understand why the city decided to NOT plow the residential streets. Next week it will probably be warm enough, that it will melt anyway. But what was told to us is questionable. When the city decided to not plow the residential streets they did say they would hit ‘troubled areas’ of residential streets with sand and chemical. I have not seen that, and many people are saying they have not either. Also, take into account the latest announcement that for the first time that I can remember, the city doesn’t have the staff to plow the streets so they are reaching out to part-time independent contractors (mostly farmers) to help with snow removal over the winter.

There has also been this ‘skip it’ attitude over the past couple of years with plowing the residential streets if;

• It is early winter and it may melt

• It is a small snow fall

• It is early spring, and it may melt

While I am all for the city saving money, I question the damage being done to vehicles because the city isn’t providing a service we pay for, snow removal and maintaining safe streets.

Seems odd we can scrounge up over a million a year to subsidize a luxury like an indoor pool, but we have to drive over chunky, icy streets to get to this pool.

The question that is ringing in every one’s ear – is the city going broke when we have to pinch pennies with snow removal? Next thing you know the city will be tapping Labor Ready to run the Finance and Engineering department. Hey, I guess if it is good enough for the Events Center, it is good enough for city hall.


#1 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 11.20.16 at 9:31 pm

The problem is that we have a spin doctor overseeing the street situation in this town.

Do most towns hold preemptive press conferences about plowing and their plowing strategy?

We use to be a town of low crime, clean streets (Whatever happen to the sweepers?), and plowed roads. That has all been replaced by the new reality and opportunity which allows you to stand in line to buy a $ 100 concert ticket for an Events Center performance…. I guess the performance is suppose to take your our mind off the road situations and the crime here in town.

So far this past week we have had a bank robbery, a convenience store heist, and now a double murder. Maybe the plan is to have the bad roads slow the bad guys down, but it is not working so far… It time to get back to basics and run government efficiently, but not necessarily like a business. It is suppose to be the people’s work and not an entrepreneurial experiment….

#2 Bruce on 11.20.16 at 9:39 pm

As we were saying during the Stop the Funding petition drive the city of Sioux Falls is running out of cash. We still have our taxes coming in but it is a smaller number than worst estimates. The city os right now running at about 5% less than the great, wide eyed dreams of our tax and spend the bond for the rest mayor.

In a few days the disaster reverberating through Pierre will be announced in Sioux falls. Tracy Turbak will be hiding in his shell and the mayor will be trying to find new ways to say boom town when we all will know it is BUSTED TOWN.

The city does not have funds to finance snow removal so we are not going to get snow removal.

The city is building a new office building when we can’t even afford the utilities on the Spellerberg indoor pool.

Sleep and dream on tonight to the sound of mayor Mike making money in the basement. Watch our bond rating collapse under the weight of reduced tax dollars and too many bills to pay.

Just remember the Sales Tax revenue bonds get paid first before anything else. We have a worthless indoor pool, and events center not paying its way and soon we will be making bond repayments for an unnecessary office building. Mayor Mike will be leaving city government in 17 months and not a day too soon. What branch of government will he be heading to next to destroy?

#3 anonymous on 11.21.16 at 6:04 am

FIVE inches of snow.

More expected tomorrow.

Plow ALL the residential streets.

It’s a BASIC taxpayer service.

#4 Jeff on 11.21.16 at 6:35 am

I disagree – for several reasons.

Top of the list: We have an agreement with the city. A pact. We pay our taxes, and in return we expect a certain level of services. In this case, when it snows more than 2″, we get the residential streets plowed. Huber (on his own initiative?) now gets to just decide when, and under what circumstances the city will live up to that agreement? I guess that’s fine, as long as I, under circumstances that I determine, can just decide to withhold some of my tax dollars. Or, if a snow alert is issued, I can decide that the conditions don’t warrant the need for me to shovel my sidewalks.

Now, we had 5″ of snow on Friday. With the wind, we had drifting much deeper than that in areas. With no plows coming through, this has left the streets in our neighborhood narrow, ice/snow packed and rutted. Besides the challenge of simply driving to and from home, this creates another problem for the city that happens year after year.

The streets in our neighborhood are not in the best of shape anyway. With no plows going by, it’s going to take a week or more for this snow/ice to melt off the streets. If they’d plowed, it would have melted faster and the sun would have dried the street by now. Instead, we’re going to go through a long stretch where a little will melt each day, and trickle down into all the cracks/holes in the street, where it will freeze and expand, enlarging those cracks and holes. This freeze/thaw cycle will repeat day after day and in the spring our streets will be even worse than they are now. I know plowing costs money, but so do street repairs and replacement.

Okay, I’m all for the wise use of city money. But keeping the streets free of snow and ice is one of the basics that we expect from the city.

#5 The D@ily Spin on 11.21.16 at 8:17 am

It’s Huether’s last year. There’s lots of things he doesn’t care about. Especially snow removal. City officials must find ways to stretch their meager budgets. When to much must go to service debt, there’s no money for base services and toilet paper.

#6 Wondering on 11.21.16 at 10:38 am

Just wondering if MMM’s street and Rolfing’s street were cleaned? Just wondering….

#7 Scott on 11.21.16 at 10:39 am

If there was no further snow in the forecast I could understand the decision. It’s not ideal but I could live with it. But getting more snow just four days later makes it problematic. The snow on my little side street is hard as a rock. You certainly don’t want a drink of any kind in your cup holders. So if we do get that five inches, they will have to plow it anyway, and it won’t be easy. It will be even harder for all of us to clear our driveway entrances, even with the snow gates limiting how much is deposited.

#8 Mark on 11.21.16 at 11:39 am

Just drove down North Dubuque Avenue from Madison. They sent one plow through there and what was a two lane street is now one lane as they have a large window of hard packed ice and snow. They would have been better of doing nothing than doing it half a**ed. The street could have been driven on if they had just left it but instead they really screwed up half of it. Do your job we pay taxes for. Clear the streets. It is a quality of life issue much more than tennis centers and indoor pools.

#9 Bruce on 11.21.16 at 2:07 pm

Jeff the street repair will come from the 2nd penny sales tax. MMM won’t worry about the repairs or replacement of streets as long as his 3 time redone street is clear. Who cares about zany others.

Mark, I bet the grader used more fuel than necessary and much slower speed. Progress?

#10 scott on 11.21.16 at 3:10 pm

if i were the next mayor, my first order of business would be to fire galen huber.

#11 Not a Fan on 11.21.16 at 6:26 pm

My street is a mess. Large piles of snow due to drifts and big ruts. The collector street barely has room for two-way traffic thanks to the plow pushing the snow onto the parked cars and creating a pile in the street.

The snow didn’t melt, it’s still there. The city didn’t clear theirs, does that mean I get a free pass and don’t have to shovel mine either? “I decided it’s cheaper to let it melt in a few days, no need to ticket me.”

I think some of the previous comments nailed it on the head. Huether drained the piggy bank on extras and now the city is being forced to cut basic services to try and balance the budget.

I know the street department has made judgment calls in the past around the 2″ mark not to plow, but 5″ of snow with high winds (so plenty of drifts) and more snow in the forecast? And no plowing? Clearly it wasn’t about what was best for the good folks of Sioux Falls.

#12 duggersd on 11.22.16 at 6:26 am

If, God forbid, someone is killed in an accident in which the it can be shown that it was caused because of slippery streets that should have been plowed, is the city liable?

#13 The D@ily Spin on 11.22.16 at 9:31 am

I sympathize with Huber. He’s got to make a meager snow plowing budget work because Mikey built indoor swimming and bonded for a city building. Swimming in debt doesn’t get streets plowed.

#14 moses on 11.22.16 at 3:03 pm

My street in south east snow packedThanks slick Mike.

#15 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 11.22.16 at 4:16 pm

This constant rain we have been having in the last 24 hours, which has thankfully been eating away at the ice chunked roads, is that the chemical which Galen was referring too, that he thinks works? If so, it does, but I would call that merely an act of God and not public works at work….

#16 teatime on 11.22.16 at 10:00 pm

Can someone make a list of all the things the 2nd penny sales tax is supposed to pay for?

#17 Titleist on 11.25.16 at 2:58 pm

11.25.16. Snow has been all melted on the streets for days. Just sayin’.