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Snow removal not up to snuff this season

Posted: January 21, 2014 - 8:05pm  |  Updated: January 22, 2014 - 9:23am

What’s up with snow removal this year? I’ve lived here going on 30 years now, and for better than 20 of those years my job has involved snow removal. I understand what it takes and a good system when I see it. Kenai does not have a good system at present.

A good system requires three things: experienced help, a good plan of attack, at least decent equipment and in that order. Kenai has decent equipment but definitely no plan of attack and little or no experienced help.

We’re a Northern city for heaven’s sake. Snow removal should be a priority and not just the roads; the walkways should also be cleared well and in a timely matter. I was recently told by a city official that they get to the walkways at their convenience. There are a lot of people who have to walk to get around and others who do it for health or enjoyment; they should not be an afterthought. Safety is an issue. We’ve had one large snow event this season and it was weeks ago; yet yesterday as I drove in my plow truck I had to inch the plow forward into a traffic lane in order to look around berms for oncoming traffic in the downtown area.

I’ve heard of plans to add an automatic sprinkler system to the soccer fields which are used a few hours a day for a few weeks each summer and yet we can’t keep walkways clear which are used year round?

Kenai is not hurting for money, so what’s the problem? I’d like to see you all give some thought to the old saying “penny wise, pound foolish.” Do Kenai’s finances look good because corners are being cut at the expense of sound investment? Why can’t we keep experienced help? There is a lot of City employee turnover in this town.

You all asked to be in a position of responsibility; you owe it to the taxpayers to take that responsibility seriously and be more than just a rubber-stamp council. Ask some hard questions and question the answers. Like councilman Bookey questioning the wisdom of creating a street for heavy equipment beside a family park. Make sure the present and even more importantly, the future, of Kenai is being soundly managed.

I encourage the public to contact council members (see City website). Democracy does not work in a vacuum.

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