SISTERS, OR -- The City of Sisters is preparing for winter, and they have a plan to make the City as friendly as possible for both residents and guests.
Paul Bertagna, Sisters Public Works Director, says getting 70 inches of snow last year has made the City ready to handle whatever happens this winter. "As far as normal snow removal operations, it'll be status quo with us, we're just getting out in front of who is responsible for what when it comes to the public street and sidewalk system, to make sure that we've got pedestrian continuity and as much parking as we can in town."
Bertagna says the City will give residents four hours of warning to pull their cars and garbage cans off the street so they can plow roads as widely as possible, and other vehicles can come behind to sweep up the berms left across people's driveways. Their primary focus will be on emergency routes and school zones, but Bertagna wants to assure residents that crews will be working to clear neighborhoods as quickly as possible. "We're going to post the snow removal at least four hours ahead of the work beginning, and this requires people to move their cars off the street. If they don't, we'll have to have them towed, and we'll just end up towing them out of the snow zone. If we're able to go in and widen out the parking areas without cars in the way, we're just making it easier for people, and that's what we're trying to do."
Bertagna says another helpful thing Sisters residents can do this winter, is not leave their garbage cans on the street overnight, as the snow plows will have to navigate around them. He says the streets are too narrow to plow to the middle, which can cause problems for residents. "When we do plow, obviously, the snow has to go somewhere. We do our best not to berm driveways, and if we have a heavy snow, we will have equipment coming behind to help people, but it could take us 4-6 hours to get there, so the biggest challenge of living in snow country is those darn berms across the driveway and we are sensitive to that, and I guess we apologize ahead of time, and we will try to help you out as much as we can."
Bertagna says that snow removal in alleys and parking areas is the adjacent property owners' responsibility, while the City focuses on Emergency Routes and School Zones before clearing neighborhoods.