By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter
Michigan took another beating this winter, Grand Ledge being no exception. The city has received 23 inches of snow already this calendar year, according to wunderground.com.
The snow plows and salt trucks were put to great use this season with back-to-back snowstorms in February. To ensure residents of how soon they can expect their roads to be cleared The City of Grand Ledge has developed a snowfall plan.
“We summarized it into the public service announcement flyer for the general public to have a better understanding of our preplanned snow event response,” said Grand Ledge City Administrator, Adam Smith. “Grand Ledge Ordinance #554 requires removal of snow/ice within 24 hours when it reaches three inches of accumulation.”
The priorities for snow plowing include: State Trunk Line (M43, M100), major street routes (i.e. Bridge, Jefferson, Jenne), primary school routes and all other secondary and neighborhood streets. CEO of Snowmen Snow and Ice Management Services, Jeremy Swenson, agrees that Grand Ledge is taking the right steps.
“The city should be very proactive towards snow removal; putting down salt and de-icer to keep people from slipping and sliding off roads,” Swenson said. “Emergency winter routes should be cleared first, the ones that are most heavily traveled. The secondary routes and neighborhoods last.
“Some disagree with salt because they feel it’s negative in the environment but it keeps people safe. When people are falling it’s because there is not enough salt.”
Grand Ledge business owners Charles Beagle and Nick Somoski said that the slipping and falling of customers have been issues this winter season.
“We get customers complaining if we don’t shovel the sidewalks so we always have to salt and shovel,” said Somoski.
Beagle added, “they usually have the roads cleared by seven or eight, it depends on the road. Sometimes this winter time it was so bad we didn’t even bother coming in just because we knew it wouldn’t be cleared.”
Snow and ice industry consultant and expert witness John Allin said it’s the city and business owners responsibility to keep residents safe.
“The public feels that no matter how much snow they should be able to walk in heels. A lot of it is we have to do what’s reasonable to protect the general public,” said Allin. “Businesses could get sued. They should go to private contractors as much as they can. Their parking lots are not going to get plowed and they have to keep sidewalks safe. Every business owner has to weigh the cost and benefit analysis.”
At the end of the day, the whole system exists to keep those in Grand Ledge safe, according to Smith.
“There are no slip and fall incidents that were reported this winter season that I am aware of,” Smith said. “The City’s goal is to provide for safe road travel and timely snow removal.”