by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
If the last few weeks are any indication, we may be in for a real winter. Real as in the ones I remember as a kid when I had to trudge through the snow to Tyhee Elementary. If it was my Dad’s story, it would have been uphill both ways, but alas it was only one way uphill.
Based on a 50 plus year old memory and no scientific research, I remember heavy snow winters every seven to ten years which would make one about due in 2017. Of course we have had good snow years recently in November and December only to see it washed away by 40 degree temperatures and rains in January and February. So, it’s too soon to call this a real winter in my book; but we do need to deal with what we’ve been dealt thus far.
I know our city street crew has been working diligently to clear recent snow accumulations; but they can always use your help. By help I mean if you have an option not to park your vehicle on the street at your residence during the regular work day, please park off the street. City plows are constantly working through neighborhoods during the day to plow areas vacated by previously parked cars.
I know I get upset when I get plowed in by city plows; that too can be minimized if you shovel or blow snow to the left side of your driveway as you look at it from the street, rather than out into the street or to the right. I have been doing it that way for a few years and it does help minimize the shovel out after the plow has passed.
If you have a sidewalk like me, it too can be an issue. Again if I shovel it out into the street it ends up back on my sidewalk; so I shovel it onto the parking strip or into the yard. Daren Dahlke, our street superintendent, tells me that as the crew tries to clean up after storms, when the plows get closer to the sidewalks and driveways they reduce their speed so they don’t throw or push the snow so far up on the sidewalks. Because like you and I, the city crews need to keep our Safe Routes to Schools sidewalks open as well and we don’t want to make it harder on ourselves or you to do that.
Sometimes though, it’s just hard. Mother Nature has a way of doing that all by herself. Little can be done to change the effects of extreme cold which some long-term forecasts are predicting for the coming weeks.
The recent cold has created its own set of unique problems at the wastewater treatment plant. Pipes that should not be freezing are; requiring immediate attention by Pete Cortez and his crew. Pete is working on long term solutions to the few real trouble spots in the plant, but won’t be able to implement them until temperatures warm and stabilize.
Winter has a way of doing that too; give us time to figure things out. Many contemplate and even embark on new resolutions; while others continue about on their merry way. I often make a list of things I can do better and work to see those through. Most times I am successful in that regard if the will is there and remains consistent. Yet, that consistent will, too, can require its own resolve and to that end on your behalf I remain steadfast.
I hope the New Year welcomes each of us with open arms and holds promise for all. I look forward to another year of service as your mayor. As always my door remains open to your constructive suggestions, concerns, and criticisms. I hope to see and hear from you in the days, months, and year to come to continue to work together making American Falls the best place to live.
Until next week…
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