By Ernie Over


The Riverton City Council Tuesday night heard about changes to the city’s snow-removal plan based on public input and experience from last winter’s record snowfall. Public Works Operations Director Dan Adcock said additional plowing would be done around each of the city’s schools and medical facilities and he said city crews would be dispatched earlier to move snow before it becomes packed down and turns into ice. Another change is that city trucks will plow and do sanding at the same time so a street can be done in one shot. The old policy allowed more snow to accumulate before the plows came on.

Public Works Director Brian Eggelston noted the plan will allow the city to reach out to private contractors for dump trucks to help remove the snow in a quicker manner. That option, although expensive, helps clear the streets sooner. Council President Mike Bailey suggested that contracts with the private businesses be done ahead of time to line up 10 trucks and personnel so such streets at Main and Federal can be cleared in one day, rather than the two days it now takes. 

As explained at the work session, Adcock would dispatch the snow plows during normal business hours. After hours, the Riverton Police would initiate the calls once officers observe an accumulation of snow of a half inch or more, or when officers observe hazardous conditions from drifts or ice accumulation. A major portion of the city’s plan is the application of de-icing material to the streets, with priorities being intersections, stop signs and school zones. The policy prioritizes hazardous hills, curves, intersections and school zones for the de-icing materials. 

A problem noted at the work session is that the city does not have any designated snow routes and parked vehicles along the streets hamper the ability of city crews to get the streets and gutters cleared before they ice up. It was suggested an awareness campaign be launched before the snow season to remind residents to move vehicles from the street, where possible, and to clear the sidewalks and handicapped ramps on their property “to help their neighbors.” Mayor Tim Hancock said if the city residents want to help get the snow off the roads quickly, “make it easier for us to get in there.” Adcock said the majority of problems occur in residential areas where the streets are more narrow and vehicles such as camper trailers are parked along the streets year-round. Bailey also noted it was hard in some neighborhoods to find places for residents to move their vehicles. 

As in last year, Adcock said the city will “do its best” to notify neighborhoods when plows will be working in their area to help get the streets cleared. 

City resident Zach Vogel, who operates the Domino’s Pizza restaurant, told the council that his business relies on being able to get to people’s homes. “That is my one concern – that most of my business happens in residential areas.” He suggested at least sanding those streets. Adcock responded that the concept could create other issues like causing big ruts when the sand makes the snow softer, but he also said the updated plan should help the residential areas better than in the past. 

Megan Richardson and her husband, who live on Roosevelt, also commented on the plan asking for plows to go further on 15th Street to help school buses heading to Aspen Park have better traction and keep them from getting stuck. 

Adcock noted that Public Works contacts the school district every year to help the city by not plowing their drives and lots into the city streets. “That doesn’t always work,” he said. 

The city council will review the updated plan at the next regular meeting on August 15.