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Alderman Blasts Side Street Snow Removal

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City says 200 snow trucks are out targeting residential streets. Emily Florez reports.

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Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6th) on Thursday lashed out about budget constraints he says restricts the amount of salt that can be used on the side streets in his ward.

Sawyer issued a news release saying he was "shocked" to discover that trucks his Sixth Ward were restricted to one load of salt to use on side streets.

"The accumulation of slush on our side streets is not only dangerous for my residents, but this slush is pulled out on the arterial streets which make conditions unsafe for all travelers," Sawyer said in the release. "This is the first big snow storm of the year and we cannot allow budget constraints to decrease the safety in my community."

Sawyer said he only learned of the policy when he ordered trucks to begin salting the side streets in his ward as the temperatures increased.

But Streets and Sanitation spokeswoman Molly Poppe said there is no salt shortage, and that trucks have been plowing and heavily spreading salt on residential streets since Sunday.

"We have more than 100,000 tons of salt, and our supply is being replenished daily. We have multiple vendors and will have enough salt for the winter season," Poppe said.

Poppe said drivers are focused on plowing the streets and salting as needed.

"As temperatures continue to rise today, the salt is becoming more effective on street surfaces, and we are allowing the salt that is already on the street the opportunity to work," Poppe said.

But Sawyer insisted the trucks were put under a salt restriction, and said he "cannot be handicapped by closed door policies made without consultation and applied inequitably throughout the city."


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