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Elkhorn studies plan to improve snow removal

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
May 4, 2010
— The city council on Monday took a first look at a plan to streamline the city's snow and ice removal.

The plan outlines the approach plowing crews should take after a snowfall. It comes on the heels of a winter when, at times, city officials were dissatisfied with the lack of efficiency during snow removal.


At that time, Elkhorn Administrator Sam Tapson said snow removal didn't go as well as it had in previous years. Tapson said he expected residential areas to be cleared by 7 a.m., as is normally the case for Elkhorn.


“What we're trying to do is to get in better circulation internally so all departments understand their roles and improve execution so snow removal ultimately works better,” Tapson said Monday.


Monday, the city council asked for parts of the plan to be re-drafted to include clear guidelines about plowing city-owned parking lots.


District 4 Alderman Scott McClory said he wants a clear-cut plan for when certain lots, such as the public library, would be cleared.


“I know (library officials) have complained because sometimes they don't see plows until after they've opened for business,” McClory said.


The proposed plan

Under the plan, top priority would be given to streets that carry heavy traffic in and out of the city, such as North Wisconsin and East Court streets. Also prioritized are key community locations, such as schools and hospitals.


Level Two priorities would be placed on roads intersecting with main roads, and state and county highways.


Level Three would be less-trafficked roads, such as dead-end roads and cul-de-sacs.


Lastly, newly constructed roads won't be plowed or salted until they are frozen, creating a hard surface. The goal is to clear these roads within 24 hours after snowfall.


Sidewalks

Under Elkhorn's snow and ice removal plan, the city's parks division will be responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to city-owned buildings and property, starting with the downtown area—first the fire station, then City Hall. After that, removal crews will move to library sidewalks and the civic center.


In case of heavier snowfall, sidewalks will not be shoveled until all streets are passable, the plan outlines.


Alleys and parking lots

According to the plan, alleys and parking lots should be plowed soon after snow stops so residents can park cars off-street as they come to work.


The council is expected to make a decision on the city's ice and snow removal plan at its upcoming meeting May 17.



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