Milwaukee Alderwoman Wants City to Pay Residents to Shovel Plowed In Driveways

Chantia Lewis Shovel Driveways

Previously, two aldermen, Khalif Rainey and Russell Stamper, chastised the city for its snow removal on Feb. 2.

Hey, it’s Wisconsin. Snowplows come through, and they plow in people’s driveways. But one alderwoman wants the city to contract with workers to shovel people’s driveways.

“Pilot program would put residents to work with snow removal cleanup,” blared the news release from Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis. “Workers would remove snow piles blocking driveway, alley approaches after city plows come through.”

“With this pilot program we would have workers coming in behind the plows to clear those driveway approaches, and to clean up those alley approaches,” the alderwoman said. “A huge positive service for our citizens and our neighborhoods.”

She wrote that she is “proposing a city pilot program that would put residents and small contractors to work cleaning up residual snow piles that block driveways and alley approaches after city plows come through.” CBS58 elaborated on her plan saying she wants the city “to hire small contractors and Milwaukee Public Schools students to form a secondary plowing operation.” The station said that some people feel the city doesn’t plow their neighborhoods.

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Lewis called it a “nagging problem.”

“We often hear complaints about city plows blocking driveways during snow clearing operations with large mounds of snow and slush, requiring people to go back and then dig out their driveway approach,” she said, noting “Department of Public Works (DPW) leadership has acknowledged there are not enough available resources to have staff clear blocked driveways and alley approaches.”

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Lewis stated, “The problem was especially evident following the snowstorm this past weekend that dumped 10-12 inches of snow across most of the city.”

“According to the DPW, the duration of the storm (more than 20 hours) meant that crews were plowing continuously and did not have an ‘all clear’ declared until very late on Sunday (1/31). The ‘all clear’ is declared when the snow has finally stopped and the plow paths that are cleared will not be snowed over again,” Alderwoman Lewis said.

“Our DPW crews have been out there working hard to clear the snow from curb to curb as efficiently as possible, and they’re doing the best they can. My hat’s off to them, and I hope we can lend them some support by coming through with this pilot program,” she said.

The alderwoman said she “plans to bring the pilot program forward for a hearing soon before a Common Council committee.”

Previously, two aldermen, Khalif Rainey and Russell Stamper, chastised the city for its snow removal on Feb. 2.

“The Department of Public Works’ snow removal efforts in the wake of this past weekend’s snowstorm are simply unacceptable,” they wrote.  “Neighborhood streets across the city are a mess, and we are almost 48 hours past the end of the snowfall. Our residents are – AGAIN – fending for themselves as they use their own shovels and snow blowers to dig out from the snow, doing the job that DPW apparently isn’t up to doing!”

They added,  “We have watched our constituents trying to dig out stuck vehicles from unplowed streets so that they can go to work or go get groceries. Our offices have been bombarded with calls and complaints from tired and angry community members who are rightly dismayed by the lack of service.”


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