Minot City Manger, Mayor address snow removal efforts

MINOT, N.D. - Minot's City Manager Thomas Barry addressed the city council Monday night on the struggles city crews have faced in clearing snow from city roads before the next snowfall begins.

Barry told the alderman the city spends more than $22,000 a day just on snow removal efforts, not including the costs of equipment maintenance or hiring private contractors.

He said the city has remained vigilant in clearing the priorities first—namely, the emergency snow routes and the main thoroughfares through town.

“We've had a lot of complaints about sidewalks. We've had a lot of complaints about parking and some other things, and we're doing what we can to address that, but we have a plan, and we've been following that plan, and we've been taking off the emergency snow routes,” Barry said.

City leaders were considering forming an ad-hoc committee to discuss ways to improve snow removal, but instead they're taking a different approach.

At the encouragement of Mayor Chuck Barney, the council chose to have the city's Public Works Committee continue to develop a long-term strategy to improve snow removal.

Barney also suggested the city tighten its traffic laws to ensure plows can clear roads as quickly as possible.

“One thing that we could do a better job with, as a city during these events, is ticketing and towing, Getting these vehicles out of the streets so that we can make them absolutely as wide as possible,” Barney said.

To date, Minot has received more than 50 inches of snow, and the city surpassed its total from last winter before this winter even began.

Minot's Public Works Department says they have hired at least five different private contractors to help clear snow, which, again, is above the $22,000 the city spends each day.