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Snow Gate Petition At 3,300 Signatures

October 10, 2012, 5:00 PM by Brady Mallory

Snow Gate Petition At 3,300 Signatures
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

There may not be snow in the forecast right now, but some people in Sioux Falls are already thinking about snow removal.

"I've seen three-and-a-half feet high of snow in front of my driveway," Brad Darger said.

Darger has spent his whole life getting used to South Dakota winters.

"Cleaning the sidewalks and the driveway, I have a fairly long driveway, it's kind of a pain, but something we do," Darger said.

The more than 40 members of a citizen group want to ease that pain. You have probably seen some of them in front of the Minnehaha County Building, passing out petitions for snow gates. The goal is to collect 5,500 signatures to put the issue on the ballot for a city vote. 

"Many of these people have actually had the snow gates in the last two years in the test areas. They're fabulous witnesses to people coming to sign as to what these snow gates to do," supporter Theresa Stehly said.

If on the ballot, which could line up with the school board election, you would decide if you want a snow gate on every snow plow, which supporters say would keep the front of your driveway clear when streets are plowed. 

Stehly said her group has had a huge response and has collected 3,300 signatures to put snow gates on the ballot.  According to a rough estimate from Stehly, a snow gate on every plow could cost about $200,000. 

However, Darger said one on every plow is too many.  Pointing to his garage, he mentioned the equipment he owns that allows him to dig out the front of his driveway.

"On my block here the neighbors are real good about helping each other out.  We do have some older folks that live across the street and I make sure their driveway gets cleaned up for sure," Darger said.

Stehly said the city can handle the expense because of the money spent on other more expensive projects, such as the River Greenway.  You will not likely see the petitioning stop until the signatures pile up and the group reaches its goal.

"Some people can do it themselves, some people cannot. We do believe it has been a hardship imposed upon the citizens who have been blocked in their driveways and it can become a safety issue," Stehly said.

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