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City works to keep up with piling snow, complaints

By By Jamie Ostroff, Reporter
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:10:48 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 17 2013 09:56:54 AM CST

City works to keep up with piling snow, complaints

REXBURG, Idaho -

As the snow and ice are not letting up any time soon, neither are people's complaints about road conditions.

"When people are sliding around, it's not just putting me in danger, but the people around me," said one student at BYU-Idaho.

"They're really, really bad," said another student, of road conditions near campus.

When the snow falls in Rexburg, those complaints fall to Public Works Director John Millar.

"We have plows out right now," he said.

The city of Rexburg typically sends out its fleet of plows whenever a storm dumps 2 inches of snow.  A citywide plow takes about 10 hours and costs about $4,000.

When the snow keeps falling along with temperatures, the plows can't always get the job done.

"(Snow) gets packed down and it doesn't matter if you plowed or not," Millar explained.  "You can't scrape down to the asphalt."

"I feel like salt should be laid, because the ice is so slippery," one student suggested.

"(Salt) becomes very expensive and bad for the environment," Millar said.

Rexburg spends about $10,000 on salt each year, which can wreak rusty havoc on cars.  The city also spends about $5,000 on magnesium chloride, which helps prevent icy buildup but creates toxic runoff as the ice melts.

For now, Millar will be plowing through the complaints, while he tries as hard as he can to stay a step ahead of Mother Nature.

"When it goes for weeks without going above freezing, it's really impossible to get the roads to bare up," Millar said.

To file a complaint, visit Rexburg.org, and click on "Report a Concern."

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