City council backs pedestrians on snow removal 2009.02.11

Pedestrians were the winners at Morenci’s city council meeting Monday. Council’s decision to hire a service to clear unshoveled walks is certainly good news to those who travel by foot along the city’s sidewalks.

The deep snow that fell in January brought the issue to the forefront, but those who walk know it’s an issue every winter. It doesn’t take nine inches of snow on the ground to make walking uncomfortable, and, for some people, a dangerous situation.

After the Jan. 26 meeting, we weren’t so sure council members were going to come up with a solution. The issue was treated in a light-hearted fashion suggesting that maybe councilors didn’t realize the problem.

But ask a mail carrier what it’s like, or check with a person who has no car and walks to the store. A staff member at this office knows that if Route A is taken, it’s likely that two unshoveled walks will be encountered. If Route B is chosen, the number will probably grow to four or five.

One solution, of course, is to wear boots in the winter, but that doesn’t always come to mind two and three days after a snowstorm when living in a city that has a law regarding shoveling.

Council’s decision Monday makes snow clearing a complaint-based issue. There won’t be an effort to go out and track down offenders. City hall will act on complaints that are made. Residents are often hesitant to call and lodge a complaint against a neighbor, but that’s what it will take to get the job done.

Anyone who has difficulty shoveling due to  age or disability is urged to call the high school and put in a request to the Volunteer Club. There are energetic young shovelers who might be able to lend a hand.