City workers deal with snow and frigid temperatures

Friday, February 26, 2021

Alta Street Department employees are responsible for quickly removing snow in Alta after each snowfall. Brad Pedersen, Streets and Sanitation Department supervisor, is one of four tasked with that job. They are armed with a snow plow with sander, a grader, a payload and a tractor. The vehicles are used to move snow and remove it from the business district as soon as possible.

Plowing begins just after the snow stops, Pedersen said. It is dumped in the middle of streets on Main St. between 1st and 3rd. The snow is then transported outside of town.

Alta residents recently expressed their appreciation for city workers on social media. Mayor Kevin Walsh wrote in a Facebook post, “I want to do a quick shout out and thank you to our city workers who have endured a pretty tough few weeks dealing with either snow or frigid temperatures. . . . With all the challenges of snow removal, it’s so easy for us to just take for granted that it will be done. I said it long before I was a city leader and it still holds true today, Alta does a superb job of cleaning our roadways to keep our community safe and accessible,” he said.

One obstacle to city workers plowing is vehicles parked on the street. Each year, the mayor of Alta proclaims the winter parking ban in effect Nov. 1st to Mar. 30th. Citations are given for vehicles parked overnight on Alta city streets during those months. Residents are also prohibited from parking in yards and should be parked on a hard surface.

Residents have been ticketed over the years. At last October’s city council meeting, it was discussed that they sometimes park on the street during a snow emergency, saying they were unaware of the city ordinance, resulting in a ticket and snowplows unable to plow all parts of the street. “It’s an ordinance you can’t park on the streets between November and April,” Mayor Walsh said at the meeting.

Pedersen recommends residents be aware of the winter parking ban and reminds those living in the 51002 zip code to sign up for Alta’s new city-wide text alerts, a service that recently became available. City information is shared by this method, and e-mail alerts are available as well. The service reminds residents of the winter parking ban, weather events and other city information, he said.

Alta City Clerk Megan Peterson oversees the city budget. “The budget for snow and ice is always a challenge, because we never know what we are going to get,” she said. “So far, for FY21, we have spent $16,584 and our total budget is $26,670.”

“For FY20, we spent $26,710 on snow removal, for FY19 we spent $47,538, for FY18, we spent $33,681 and for FY17, we spent $26,866.,” she said.