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A light snowplowing season is helping local governments recover from the previous, financially punishing winter. “We really needed the break,” said Neil Kersten, Spokane Valley’s public works director. “We’ve done a lot of de-icing, but it’s still been pretty mild.”
After two harsh winters in a row, Spokane leaders are implementing new parking and shoveling rules to help maintain a clearer city. If a storm brings 2 inches of snow and more is on its way, the city will declare a “Stage 1 Snow Emergency” and ask cars parked along any arterial to be moved, Street Director Mark Serbousek said.
Months after Spokane was paralyzed by record snowfall, the city has come up with a proposal that would potentially resolve problems of snow-clogged streets and sidewalks.
The Spokane Valley City Council named four finalists Tuesday for the council position Steve Taylor vacated last month. They are Planning Commission Chairman Ian Robertson, former Planning Commissioner Fred Beaulac, retired minister Diana M. Sanderson and information technology engineer Ben T. Wick.
Spokane Valley will stick with its policy of providing all-new pavement where streets are torn up for sewer construction for at least another year. Unexpectedly high costs this year – nearly $4 million – caused city officials to take a hard look at the program, but the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to press ahead.
Spokane Valley may be paying for this winter’s snow removal over the next four years. Federal disaster assistance is expected to remove a little of the sting, though.
Spokane County officials stood firm Friday on their decision to terminate the snow removal contract with the city of Spokane Valley. But commissioners also pledged assistance to help the city establish its own crew. Spokane Valley Mayor Rich Munson asked commissioners last month to reconsider their December decision to end the contract with the county that deals with snow removal. As a result of the county’s decision, city officials began reviewing all contracts with the county.
The Athol, Idaho, Fire Department's luck is the unwitting poster child for plowing driveways. It spent $300 to get its fire engine unstuck Sunday night, just one bad side effect of trying to put out a house fire in the middle of the winter.
For years, elderly neighbors along Bernard Street, a much-traveled South Hill arterial, have beseeched me to write about the extra work city snow plows heap on them. And for years, my standard reply has been: I write about business.
1. Annelucy Virnig scrambles over a snow berm Tuesday to get to the other side of Sprague in downtown Spokane. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review 2. Jim Click scoops up water and debris at the YWCA administrative offices Tuesday. Photo by Shawn Jacobson/The Spokesman-Review
A man jumped on the running board of a city snowplow a few days ago and threatened to blow the driver's head off for plowing shut a driveway. Police were called to another Lake City home last week after a mother complained that a snowplow driver struck her son with snow from the plow. And Monday night, one resident of the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden went for his gun and his pepper spray during an altercation with another Aryan Nations' resident over snowplowing.
1. The inside view. Walt Wagner drives a city snowplow on Boone Avenue on Friday afternoon. Photo by Shawn Jacobson/The Spokesman-Review 2. Radio operator Lois Slater makes a call while keeping an ear to the radio Friday for city street crews.
Howitzers. Propane dragons. Sonic booms. There is no shortage of ideas on how to keep snowbound Idaho 21 open during the winter. But most are costly. And the main road linking Boise to Stanley, Challis and parts of Montana does not carry enough traffic to justify a major expense, the Idaho Transportation Department says.