Bolduc; City Policy Leaves Neighborhoods Out in the Cold 08 Nov 17

No authority to declare a weather emergency, a difficult test of the new Public Works Structure, and city policy that puts neighborhoods last.

Resident Anthony Bolduc says the city of Thief River Falls has to get out from under the weight of their own bureaucracy and put a priority on neighborhoods who were left struggling with heavily rutted and even impassible roads following the weekend weather event.

Bolduc spoke during the public comment section at the start of last night’s Regular Council Meeting, with a response later in the evening from Public Works Director Mark Borseth, who said the city poured more than 200 man hours into the road-plowing effort, many workers sacrificing their weekend of deer hunting in an effort to make city streets and avenues passable after several inches of early snow.

Bolduc said after the meeting he does not blame city workers but city policy, and Councilman Josh Hagen said he also took many complaints from residents who said the city failed to take full advantage of a window of warm weather, that the plowing effort came too late to save residential neighborhoods from ice dams high enough to damage vehicles.

Mayor Brian Holmer said Tuesday City Ordinance needs to allow for declaration of a weather emergency, that Calendar Parking needs an earlier start date and promised a review of snow plowing policy, although he also defended the efforts of Street, Parks and Sanitation Workers working within current policy against an early, wicked winter storm.