Mayor to address snow and ice removal in upcoming meeting
Mayor William Joseph plans to discuss correspondence received regarding snow and ice removal on city streets at the upcoming Feb. 11 Mount Pleasant City Commission meeting.
The correspondence was supposed to be evaluated as part of the Jan. 28 meeting agenda, but the event was canceled due to weather conditions.
Following nearly a foot of snow on Jan. 28, Joseph said improvements could be made to clear snow and ice from city streets and parking lots.
“I think overall, the city does a good job,” Joseph said. “There’s some room to improve. Last year, we talked a lot about sidewalk snow removal. That’s something I support. Actually, we will be talking about it again later this year to include it in our capital improvement budget.”
Greg Travis, a resident of Mount Pleasant, sent in the correspondence on Jan. 22, just two days after the area got over an inch of snow on Jan. 19 as the temperate dipped well below freezing.
Due to what Travis said was a “sorely lacking” process, he is asking for commissioners to reconsider the public works guideline regarding cleaning snow and ice from city streets.
Joseph said he relates with Travis’ correspondence, especially after the hefty amount of snow on Jan. 28. He added that commissioners often take in those types of comments and weight them into future decisions.
“The one response is we could evaluate our current policy on when we send the crews out and what happens in a weekend situation with paying people overtime,” Joseph said. “We could evaluate the threshold for that sort of thing."
According to Mount Pleasant’s parameters for snow and ice, it takes six trucks approximately eight hours to salt the entire city streets and parking lots. Meanwhile, it takes six trucks between seven and eight hours to plow 4-7 inches of light snow.
During regular work hours, plowing is based on the street superintendent’s decision. For non-work hours, plowing is only called in for overtime when snow accumulation exceeds four inches, but they “generally wait longer than four inches if it is still snowing.”
While a developing a policy change is not currently on the agenda, Joseph said it could come up in the near future. He said multiple commissioners, along with himself, are concerned.
“Personally, I’ve thought about it,” Joseph said of changing the policy. “I don’t think it’s the city staff’s fault. They work really hard to do the best job they can, but they are restrained by policy. I do think we probably could’ve done a better job.”
As a commissioner and now mayor, Joseph said snowfall is one of the most complicated issues he’s had to deal with.
“There’s no way to make anyone happy,” Joseph said. “Sometimes the snowfall is heavy, and that takes longer time to plow.”
Due to the snow and ice on city streets, the City of Mount Pleasant asked residents, through a press release on Jan. 27, to refrain from parking on streets in downtown to help the Street Department clean up the snow and ice throughout the week.
Those with overnight parking permits were told to move to designated areas where overnight parking was allowed.
Recycling and trash pickup was pushed back from Wednesday until Thursday, Jan. 31, according to a press release from the City of Mount Pleasant. Meanwhile, Thursday pickups were switched to Friday, Feb. 1.