Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

December 18, 2013

Officials eye snow, street plan; Corn says no change is needed

TAHLEQUAH — A small group of city officials met Tuesday morning to discuss putting a written plan in place for clearing streets of snow and ice during winter weather.

City officials came under fire recently when a winter storm brought a blanket of ice and snow to Tahlequah. Many residents complained the streets had not been cleared as quickly as they wanted, but Street Commissioner Mike Corn said his crews worked as hard as they could. He said  the layer of ice beneath several inches of snow presented a major problem for road graders.

On Tuesday, Corn met with Mayor Jason Nichols and Tahlequah-Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Gary Dotson to talk about the city’s response. Nichols has said the city needs to be better prepared for winter weather, with a written protocol in place and a map dictating how the city clears streets.

“We’ve got to get our act together,” Nichols said. “You could take a map of this town and a highlighter, or maybe several highlighters, and say here’s Priority 1, Priority 2, and Priority 3, and maybe several of each. Knowing the rate at which we could work, we could give people a pretty good estimate on how long it would take to get each set of priorities done.”

Corn defended his crews, saying the street department responded well after the last snow and ice.

“I don’t think we really need any changes,” said Corn. “It was just a certain amount of ice we got.”

Nichols told Corn some residents feel the roads weren’t cleared in a timely manner. Dozens of those people complained on the Daily Press’ Facebook walls and elsewhere.

“Well, there’s a certain amount of people that would agree with what we’ve done,” said Corn. “I got a lot of compliments on what we done. It’s just the way that ice came down; there just wasn’t anything you could do with it.”

Corn later agreed to meet with Dotson and other city officials later this month to put a written plan in place, and to map out the street priorities. Nichols asked that the plan be ready by mid-January for council approval. Dotson agreed the plan needs to be in place “right away.”

“It’s supposed to be a bad winter,” said Dotson.

Dotson suggested emergency services, such as roads around hospitals, be cleared first when winter storms hit.

“Our No. 1 priority should be our main thoroughfares and emergency services, including police and fire and the hospitals,” said Dotson.

Dotson checked with other communities, including Muskogee and Tulsa, and learned their street departments do not clear residential streets immediately following a snow storm, but instead focus on higher-traffic outlets and emergency routes. In Tulsa, one study suggested the clearing of residential streets presented an average cost of about $400 per hour, Dotson said.

According to Corn, the street department considers its priority roads to be Muskogee Avenue, Choctaw Street, and Downing Street. Later, crews will attack secondary streets, like College and Water avenues. If schools plan to open, Corn said his crews will work around the school sites.

“Then we’ll come back and start working the residentials,” said Corn. “We try to get a lot of the hills and stop signs. We just work all the major hills, the bridges, then we’ll back up and start going into the residential areas.”

Corn said he has previously considered buying snowplows for the street department’s sand trucks.

“More than likely it would worth it, but they sit all year, like the state’s equipment,” said Corn. “Theirs sit out back all year long, but when they need it, it’s there.”

Corn estimates each snowplow attachment for a sand truck would cost more than $13,000. The city’s sand trucks are not equipped with the hydraulic attachments that would be needed for snowplows, and those would cost an additional $10,000, he suggested.

Nichols recommended Corn consider putting all four sand trucks on the streets during winter weather, rather than the two or three that were running during the last storm. Corn said he had two crew members in each truck for safety reasons, but is willing to consider placing one employee into each truck.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Stocks