There has been a lot of discussion about a story on the Associated Press concerning the possibility of Casper reducing the number of streets plowed after a heavy snowfall in the city.

The story, which we published as well, pointed out that the idea was only in the planning stage and would be implemented only if the city budget demanded more cuts. Ward 1 Councilman Wayne Heili felt the full story was not explained in the article, and published this statement on his Facebook page.

About Snow Removal. This topic has been in the news lately and I have noted that the press is not getting the whole story out. So, here is one sitting Councilman's perspective on snow removal in Casper.

The current budget funds snow removal for the incoming winter at the same level as in the past. Plowing in Casper is done according to a priority system where the main arterial streets are top priority. Collector streets that feed the main streets are second on the list and residential streets that are not main thoroughfares or collectors are only plowed when deemed otherwise impassible. Last week the City Staff presented a thoughtful and systematic approach to reducing the number of collector streets that are plowed if and only if we have an extraordinary winter and we anticipate going over budget. It is good to have contingency planning done in advance of the need and I for one appreciate that type of approach by the City staff.

So, Council listened to the presentation and discussed whether or not we might implement some reductions in snow removal proactively. The City Manager recommended that we do not need to reduce this service at this time. I and the majority of the Council agreed. With the current budget, we are not being forced to choose between essential city services and other spending. Let's see what this winter brings.

I am also pleased that the City Manager has implemented a better accounting process so the Streets Department will accurately report all spending on labor, overtime, materials and supplies related to snow removal this winter (for the first time). Having a line item expense for this will help us set appropriate funding levels in the future.

Wayne Heili - Ward 1 Councilman

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