Snow Removal Policy

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

We knew it was coming but most of us didn't expect it to take days to clean up. Now Mother Nature's Friday fury has Rockford Aldermen questioning the city's snow storm plan.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey stated Monday night at the Rockford City Council meeting, "The National Weather Service recorded our storm at 11 inches. That broke our old record of 5.7 inches in 1978."

We sure got a reminder of what it's like to experience a real Midwest winter. But what happened Friday was a major concern amongst Rockford City Council members.

Alderman Frank Beach stated, "There were some areas that just weren't handled right."

As the snow continued to fall the problems were piling up for almost every alderman. Angry residents were not upset with Mother Nature but with the City of Rockford. Constituents complained of side streets that weren't cleared, mail not being delivered and crews purposely plowing people in. But it's not just city crews on the streets. For the past three years the city contracts out snow removal.

Alderman Linda McNeely stated, "When we get ready to look at the budget and look at bids for snowplowing. I don't think this contractor should be part of the list."

The Public Works department says the weight and quantity of the snow was a challenge. With 600 miles of Rockford streets to cover and a limited budget it's hard to ever be totally ready for the unexpected. The Public Works Director Bill Bittner says, "I think city and contractors did very will with the resources that we take to the table and compared to the huge, huge snow we had."

Now these inconsistencies are expected to be addressed over the next couple of weeks. Aldermen have asked to look at changing the odd/even rule and want a detailed explanation of the city's 2006 - 2007 snow plan. Next week the city should have a better handle on how much it cost to dig out the city.

As of Monday night, the plowing and salting of all residential streets in Rockford should be complete. Crews have been working on finishing up the snow removal. The odd/even parking ban has also been lifted and there are no longer any parking restrictions due to snow plowing on city streets.


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