Hot (cool?) on the heels of yesterday’s news of two Milwaukee aldermen calling the city’s snow removal efforts “simply unacceptable,” comes news of a Milwaukee alderwoman with a snow-removal plan.

Alderwoman Chantia Lewis is proposing a pilot program that would “put residents to work with snow removal cleanup,” tasking residents and small contractors with “cleaning up residual snow piles that block driveways and alley approaches after city plows come through.” Further details of the pilot program have not been released.

“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,” Lewis said in a press release on Tuesday. “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. A huge positive service for our citizens and our neighborhoods.”

On Tuesday, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey and Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II blasted the city’s Department of Public Works for plowing some streets and not others. “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,” they said in a joint statement. “Our offices have been bombarded with calls and complaints from tired and angry community members who are rightly dismayed by the lack of service.”

Lewis’ snow-removal plan focuses on further cleaning up areas that have already been plowed.

“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,” Lewis said. “My hat’s off to them, and I hope we can lend them some support by coming through with this pilot program.”

Lewis says she “plans to bring the pilot program forward for a hearing soon before a Common Council committee.” Here’s the full press release:


Pilot program would put residents to work with snow removal cleanup
Workers would remove snow piles blocking driveway, alley approaches after city plows come through

Alderwoman Chantia Lewis 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.

Alderwoman Lewis said the proposal could address a longtime nagging problem for city residents and property owners, while also providing much needed work for residents and contractors. “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.

“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.”

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

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.

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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