At last night's Gillette City Council meeting the council had consideration of two different on-call downtown snow removal contracts for snow removal along Gillette Avenue from 1st Street to 7th Street. Interim Public Works Director for the City of Gillette Sawley Wilde said the council voted to keep the service "curb to curb", which Wilde said has historically been the case.
"The low bidder was Earth Work Solutions, the rate for all their equipment came in at $805 an hour. For big snow events they'll clean up at night from 9pm to 7am. And the quotes went out for curb to curb which means those downtown business owners will still be responsible for clearing the sidewalks."---Wilde
The council did have consideration of a contract to include on-call snow removal to be building face to building face. Downtown business owner Louise Carter King abstained on the vote. Gillette Mayor Tom Murphy along with council members Everett Boss and John Opseth voted "yes" for the contractor to clear sidewalks on Gillette Avenue. The consideration failed in a tied vote however, after Council President Kevin McGrath along with councilmen Ted Jerred and Robyn Kuntz cast "no" votes to the consideration.
McGrath said he felt the clearing of the sidewalks of downtown businesses was not the taxpayers responsibility and should be left up to the business owner. Murphy said he felt the measure would have made good sense after a big snow event.
"The City Streets Department goes into the downtown when we have a major event. And by the time business owners show up, they take the snow from the sidewalks and push it back into the streets. So for me it is an easy fix, if we are going to improve our downtown and increase shopping in our community, and keep our tax dollars at home, it makes good sense that when we have a big snow event to go building to building."---Murphy.
The "building face to building face" quote agreement being considered was also from Earth Work Solutions.