Town passes on snow removal idea

Duane Hicks

Town council received a letter from local resident William Krukoski at its regular meeting this week suggesting it consider developing a Public Works snow removal crew to plow and haul away snow for individuals on a user fee basis.
But the idea will go no further than that, several councillors said at the meeting.
“I recommend no referral,” said Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft. “I just don’t see the town getting into a private business.
“There’s no need to be cutting into private businesses already established in the community,” he stressed.
“We don’t want the town to be competing with private enterprise, and these services already are being provided in a number of places by private enterprise in Fort Frances,” agreed Coun. Andrew Hallikas.
In his letter, Krukoski wrote: “With the heavy volume of snow this year, an aging population, the number of handicapped, single persons, those on fixed incomes, and even working couples, snow and its removal is not only problematic but a hardship.”
A possible solution, he wrote, is a Public Works community snow removal crew which would clean driveways, parking lots, walkways, roofs, and more, and then haul the snow away.
This crew would be paid from user fees, established especially for this service, charged directly to the homeowners.
“To start this program, a committee would have to be created to determine if snow cleaning for the public would generate positive revenue and, if feasible, determine the actual snow removal costs,” noted Krukoski in his letter.
“Costs should incorporate full employee, machine, administrative, and real costs, with a profit for Public Works,” he added.
The work all would have to be done on the day shift, but be scheduled appropriately to meet both Public Works and the taxpayers demand for service, he explained.
Basically, taxpayers could phone Public Works and be placed on a list for snow removal. They then would be billed at month’s end for services rendered.
“I believe there would be a large demand for this service, and if implemented, would create a few new jobs, assist those in our community in need of these services, while bringing in new revenue for the town,” noted Krukoski.
He added he feels Public Works has the manpower and equipment to do it, but what’s needed is a management structure to carry it out.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)