Town residents can help speed up snow removal
BIG PINEY – Plowing and clearing streets with Big Piney’s recent extravagant snowfalls could be a lot easier if residents kept their snow to themselves.
Big Piney Mayor Tyler Maxfield brought up some citizen queries about why and when certain streets and sidewalks are cleared, adding, “I’ve shoveled more snow last week than I did all last year.”
He asked parks-streets manager Kara Losik if she could plow out more and earlier at the town’s building that houses The Learning Center and Big Piney Rec.
Losik explained the plowing schedule and obstacles to the Big Piney Town Council – Sherri Redden, Tawnya Miller, Stafford Polk IV and Sierra Banks.
Losik could do the sidewalks and a handicapped parking space first, if no one parks there at 5 a.m., and then work on the parking lot later. Because she has to meet a WYDOT deadline to complete other streets and intersections onto the highway, she explained, it would help if people park in the center before 7 a.m. and then move vehicles toward the sidewalk. Then she could come back and finish the main parking lot later.
Maxfield advised impatient people to give town employees “more flexibility” with their plowing; Losik and water-sewer manager Mike Wagstaff are the two main plow drivers. School-bus routes and intersections also need to be cleared quickly.
“A lot of people don’t understand why we do (Budd Avenue) sidewalks first,” Losik said. “There’s a reason we do it the way we do, not that I’m not open to suggestions. … My WYDOT deadline is 7 a.m.”
If people can be patient until 7 a.m., that would help considerably, both added. Another factor is that many people plow their driveways and walks into the street, where the two have to spend extra time clearing other people’s snow. They also plow new snow from the alleys each afternoon.
“It’s a never-ending battle,” Maxfield said. “Everybody is pushing their snow into the street. It’s about being a good neighbor – if snow’s on your property, you need to keep it on your property.”
He’s seen residents push piles 15 to 20 feet deep onto town streets.
“We have 300-some people in town and you can’t push snow out into the street and expect us to take care of it,” he said. “They sell snowblowers at Bomgaars.”
Losik also reported her Ford F150 plow truck still has its factory tires, which are aging quickly.
The council agreed she should get new tires that can come from the water-sewer-streets’ budgets.
“We’ve got a lot of winter left and a lot more plowing,” Maxfield said.
Wagstaff added, “We’re in the snow-moving business, not the snow-removing business.”
He was thanked for digging out Big Piney’s fire hydrants by hand.
Redden reminded the council of the Jan. 30 Big Piney-Marbleton mushers’ dinner and Jan. 31 leg of the Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race at the end of January.
Also relevant to winter was the council’s approval of the second reading of amended Ordinance 2022-01: “Every person owning an animal shall provide it with necessary protection from extreme weather, medical attention, treatment to prevent suffering, food, water and care.”
Mayor Maxfield said residents need to provide some sort of shelter – “You don’t have to have a big fancy doghouse.”
In other Big Piney business:
- Luke Barron of Jorgensen & Associates said the town’s Nichols Street project will be going out for bid in early February. The council approved Resolution 2023-01, to apply for an ARPA grant for a chorine generation system.
- Someone attempted to break into the Big Piney Pavilion, scattering window screens, so a game camera will be put up there again.
- Eddy Delgado reported the Big Piney Rec Center is seeing increased youth participation in about every activity. With the temporary Big Piney Library moved back into its newly renovated building, employees rearranged equipment, if anyone needs a tour, he said.