Eau Claire looking into updating snow removal policy

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- In this Aug. heat, the snow and cold of winter is likely the last thing on the minds of many, but the city of Eau Claire is already talking about changes to its snow removal policy.

The city says the goal is to do clear as much snow as possible without increasing the costs.

The city of Eau Claire says with snow falling as late as May this year cost the city $1.3 million. That's 25 percent more than an average winter.

“Because that calendar year 2013 was part of that budget draw, that means we have less (money) for this fall as a cushion. So if we have a bad November or December -we could run short of money,” Vice President of the Eau Claire City Council Dave Duax said.

Duax says the snow removal policy was last updated in 2008, when the three-inch removal rule was put in place.

He says spreading salt brine on city roads similar to the county will help save money in the long run.

“That'll be nice. Especially on the hills, near the bridges where there is traditionally more slippery surfaces. Do it for safety primarily I think it'll be a big plus,” Nathaniel Stewart of Eau Claire said.

Duax says improving communication with residents is also a priority. That includes updating the frequently asked questions portion of the city maintenance website and having someone answer calls in the case of emergency.

“I would like to have someone there, because for me if I was to call that would mean that I already looked everywhere else for an answer and I need someone there,” Summer Stewart of Eau Claire said.

The city says certain things will not change. The clean-up will not start until there is at least three inches of snow on the ground, and priority for snow removal will still go to major roads in town, it said.

“Our main streets are plowed first, and then the residential streets become a priority; cul-de-sac, short streets that end up being at the bottom of the list, but they get cleared,” added Duax.

Duax says the city will post policy updates to the city's website next month.

To send feedback to the city, click the link below.


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