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SF Group Needs 5,500 Signatures For Ballot

September 6, 2012, 10:09 PM by Kelly Bartnick

SF Group Needs 5,500 Signatures For Ballot

The citizens pushing for snow gates plan to collect 5,500 signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

And for those of you unfamiliar with the devices, they attach to the edge of a plow blade and come down when the blade goes across your driveway the gate goes down to block snow.

Although the group is just getting organized, and many of the members have been in the city's previous snow gate test areas during the past two winters.

“It gets real hard that snow does. It isn't like that fresh snow you can move,” Carol Morgan said.

That’s especially true when you're elderly and in a wheel chair like Morgan. And like so many of these people gathered at the meeting Thursday night, Morgan is getting older and moving her snow gets more and more difficult.

“I used to like to shovel, but there's no way of shoveling now,” Morgan said.

Morgan's daughter, Darla helps. She even brought her to the meeting.

“My concern for her is if there was a medical emergency and she needed to get out in a hurry,” Darla Larsen said.

Morgan was in a test area two years ago. The snow gates weren't an answer to her prayers, but they were close, she says. Other people who've experienced them in action agree.

“We were lucky that one year they came down our street,” Mary Ekeland said.

Ekeland and Marsha Crow live on the same block. They both want them back, because, in their opinion, the gates work.

“And I have to tip it and go up and down and down and down, with snow gates it was done,” Crow said.

Sioux Falls city administrators are already studying the issue and have entered what they say is the third and final test year before referring the question to the city council. Preliminary tests show plows with snow gates take more time and fuel to clear the streets. And for the residents in the test area it doesn't matter.

“Well they spend so much money on everything else, why can't they get it so they can get out of the driveways and stuff,” Morgan said.

If the group gets enough signatures, the question will be on the spring election ballot. By then the city's final test on the devices will be over.

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