SPOKANE, Wash. – The City of Spokane took a lot of heat this winter for how it handled the cold – in particular, snow removal.
People said it took crews too long to complete a full-city plow (4 days.) Monday, city leaders voted unanimously on new procedures in hopes of speeding up snow removal.
Amber Waldref is a member of the Spokane City Council. She said things could have gone much better this winter.
"For the last four years, we didn't have a lot of snow," she said, "we didn't test out the plan very much."
Waldref said this year they got a lot of testing and,
"We heard that we could do better."
Going forward, changes will be made to several key parts of the snow plow system, particularly in reducing the city-wide plowing time.
Lawmakers will also look to improve snow removal in Downtown Spokane as well as improve the communication for on-street parking during plowing.
Those who attended the meeting said the changes are long overdue. One woman said she grew up in the Great Lakes region, yet this winter was among the scariest she ever had.
Council members also received recommendations from the public. One man suggested that local courts have inmates plow the streets as a means of sentencing and to save money.
Specific changes to Spokane's plow operations will be drawn up in the next few months, officials said.
As part of the new measures, more money will be poured into the snow budget. How much exactly, remains to be worked out.
In the end though, the City acknowledged things must be different next winter.
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