Council OKs trail snow removal

A system defining what trails will be cleared of snow and when that work will be done was approved by the Fort Dodge City Council on a 6-1 vote Monday.

The system divides the local trail system into three categories: main connectors, high traffic recreational and winter recreation.

The main connectors are defined as heavily used trails that often double as routes to school for students. An example is 10th Avenue North near the Fort Dodge Middle School. Those trails will be cleared within 24 hours of a snow accumulation totaling 1 inch or more.

High traffic recreational trails are defined as those that have trailheads or other easy public access. Those will be cleared off with 48 hours of a snow accumulation of 1 inch or more, or after the snow storm ends.

Winter recreation trails will not receive any snow removal work. The Nature Trail near Snell-Crawford Park is in the category of winter recreation trails.

Councilman Neven Conrad cast the sole vote against the plan.

He said he believes the city should not be clearing snow from trails that are essentially sidewalks in residential neighborhoods. He said it’s a bad precedent to be doing that.

He said the snow removal work will place an added burden on city workers.