It wasn’t on the agenda, but snow removal was the “topic of the evening” during Tuesday’s Lander City Council meeting, Councilmember Julia Stuble observed.
The conversation began with Councilmember John Larsen, who said he had received both positive and negative comments from constituents about the city’s response to the recent snowstorm.
“There’s a lot (of snow) to move out there,” Larsen said, adding, “I think things are going well.”
Lander Mayor Monte Richardson said he appreciated the positive comments, acknowledging that it’s “hard to get rid of 27 inches of snow overnight.”
“I know people have been out there working hard,” Richardson said. “They’ve been out all weekend, and a lot of them were out during their vacation days. (So) it’s not that they haven’t been trying – it’s just a lot of snow.”
Councilmember Melinda Cox asked whether there was anything the council could do to support staff in these snowy “situations,” suggesting there might be opportunities for “more strategic planning around these types of incidents.”
“If there are any improvements or changes to be made, that’s on us to provide the capacity and resources to our excellent staff,” Stuble agreed.
Councilmember Missy White wondered how much it would cost to hire an additional snow removal crew, for example, but public works director Lance Hopkin said it would be difficult to provide work for those employees in the summer months.
Instead, he said, staff members from multiple city departments are trained to step in and help during snow events, and local contractors provide assistance once their own work is completed, too.
“It’s not necessarily convenient,” Hopkin said. “It’s going to be slow when the storm hits. But we’ll get caught up.”
He noted that “we don’t get storms like this that often,” and usually “we can work around it as long as it doesn’t get this big” – but he also added that, if storms of this magnitude become “the rule rather than the exception, maybe some other things come into play.”
For more information call the City of Lander at 332-2870.