Appreciate the Effort - The Missourian: Opinion

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Appreciate the Effort

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 6:07 pm

Count us among those who were impressed with the job Washington street crews did in clearing the streets after last week’s snowstorm.

City employees did a Herculean job working marathon shifts in brutal conditions to remove the snow from city streets.

By Monday morning most of the main streets in town were drivable. More effort was required on some of the side streets and those in residential neighborhoods but, overall, our view is that the city did a good job plowing the streets during and after the worst snowstorm in years.

That was the assessment we heard from the majority of people we spoke with. That view wasn’t universal. There were critics — there always are critics when it comes to things like snowplowing. Some felt the city could have done better.

We’re not sure what expectations were regarding snow removal in the worse snowstorm in decades in sub-zero conditions. But when you stop to consider the amount of equipment, personnel, time and expertise required to clear the streets of a town the size of Washington, you begin to appreciate that it is no small task.

Some of the positive comments we heard about the city’s effort were from people who lived elsewhere — including St. Louis — who were pleasantly surprised by how quickly major streets were made passable. Granted, you can’t compare St. Louis with Washington because of the size difference and the fact that snow removal is a different job in an urban area.

But when you consider the outrage expressed by St. Louis residents this week because of the poor condition of streets and their inability to get around, you begin to appreciate our community and its public works department.

Even if you weren’t impressed with the city’s effort, you have to give the employees credit for their moxy. Most of the workers pulled 12-hour shifts so that we could get around after the storm. It was dangerous work. Our hats are off to them.

Some of the very same employees were out New Year’s Day fixing sewers. Our experience is that our city employees are conscientious and professional. Some might respond “So what, they are getting paid.” But pause for a moment and ask yourself if you’d want to work in the extreme conditions of last week’s snowstorm or on New Year’s Day.

Our compliments go out to the city and its employees. We appreciate the effort!

/opinion

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