Lansing City Council members struggle to deal with snow cleanup as temperatures plunge

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UntitledDuring the public comment session, some citizens expressed frustration with maneuvering around the areas in Lansing where the snow seems to pile up around the most.

“It’s definitely been annoying how much snow has buildup,” Shay Cameron, a Lansing resident said. “But I understand how hard it may be to clean it all up.”

Cameron, who has two young children at home, considers it very difficult to drop her kids off at school in the morning.

“It’s especially hard when you have elementary-aged students,” Cameron said. “Sometimes I can’t even see over large piles of snow when I drive, and I fear for the safety of my kids when they walk on icy sidewalks.”

In some areas, the snow is so high it obstructs the vision of drivers and pedestrians alike.

“Particularly, it’s the vacant, bank-owned properties that tend to be the most problematic,” 4th Ward Councilwoman Jessica Yorko. “Pedestrians may have to end up walking in the street, which is not ideal.”

“My normal path to work is completely blocked at times,” said Jeffery Washington, who works as a mechanic in Lansing, “It’s been so difficult to pursue my daily life all because of some ridiculous snow buildup.”

Shoveling sidewalks

In addition to city snow removal, the requirement that residents must shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours or face a fine remains controversial.

“I know, in my neighborhood, there have been a lot of people who are extremely generous,” Yorko said, “They help each other out/”

Yorko acknowledges the help of neighbors as a solution, but also recognizes the role in city government with helping those who may have different circumstances.

“People who are physically or financially unable to clear the snow adjacent to their property are able to call the RHCS department,” Yorko said. “There are some ways they can help in some cases.”

“As we all know, we have had an unpredicted amount of snow,” Said Randy Hannan, executive assistant to the mayor.  “We can’t clear every single intersection in town, but we are trying.”

The winter has been difficult for not only residential and commercial areas, but for government officials as well.

“It’s been very challenging,” Hannan said, “We ask of citizens, members of the council to help report any areas that may be cleaned.”

“The snow days have been very hard for me,” Cameron said, “Looking for babysitters last minute is stressful.”

Some residents expressed concern about whether the budget for snowplows and other resources can last through the tough winter.

“I want to know if we have enough and what we can do if we do encounter a shortage of resources,” said Boles.

“Running out of money is unacceptable,” Washington said. “I’ve had it with the lack of funding because the snow pileup is getting ridiculous”

“In the event of a shortage, we could ask the state for more funding,” Hannan said. “This is not the best option of course

“There needs to be an increase concern about the snow pile-up from the local government,” Hannan said, “because right now it’s unacceptable.”

 

 

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