Snow Plan: Crystal to Consider Clearing All Sidewalks
Six inches of snow fell in Crystal on Saturday. Getting rid of the heavy, wet snow is hard for folks like Terry Taylor. The 61-year old veteran has kidney disease and uses a walker to get around.
“What I do is simply whittle away at it a little at a time, and then when I got to, I sit down,” he said.
If the city has its way, Terry and other residents won’t have to shovel snow off sidewalks. Crystal is considering taking over snow removal duties for all sidewalks. The discussion started last Tuesday during a code review meeting.
Confusion over which sidewalks to clear
Meanwhile, there’s some confusion over which sidewalks get treated by Crystal. City code says homeowners are responsible for clearing snow-packed sidewalks. However, some deals were made during road reconstruction projects that allow certain sidewalks to be maintained by the city. Council Member Jeff Kolb says it doesn’t make sense to treat some sidewalks differently than others.
“We actually had kind of a silly situations where the guys would come out and do this sidewalk on that street, and then go one block over and skip that one,” he said.
Currently, most of the sidewalks in Crystal are already maintained by the city. Residents are responsible for about five miles of sidewalks.
“For a sidewalk that’s adjacent to a street, or along a county road, the city clears that, for other roads, residents are responsible for,” said Mark Ray, Crystal’s public works director.
The cost would come out of the city’s snow removal fund. According to the city, the expense would be minimal because crews, for the most part, are already out doing the work so no new staff or equipment would be added. However, a few details still need to be ironed out. For instance, the snow clearing machines are too wide for some of the older sidewalks.
“We need at least 5 feet of paved space, at least 5 feet to fit the equipment” said Ray.
The proposed change could take effect next winter.