News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Riverton not off to a good start on plowing the snow
Jan 3, 2013 - Feike van Dijk, Lander
I'm a Fremont County Resident who commutes every day from Lander to Riverton and while driving in Wyoming weather conditions it made me more aware and concerned about the safety of our population and frustrated about our how our cities budget their funding by state and taxes.
Driving in Lander when it snows it is plowed very well, so are the highways, the reservation does a great job, but the moment we hit the city limits of Riverton you have to be more aware of the cars and the road since nothing seems to be plowed or taken care off.
Slick and snowy roads are a danger for every person.
I'm actually very aware of the many tragedies it can cause and casualties that it already has taken.
I feel like Riverton doesn't seem the to see the importance and or take the responsibilities taking care of our roads in our bare weather circumstances
But why are smaller towns like Lander or Fort Washakie and Ethete (which have an average amount of more snow a year then Riverton) more control over their roads and plowing it than the largest city in Fremont County?
I feel that we have to put our priorities straight and think about the safety of our residents before anything else.
What bothers me is that I also read that for instance the City of Riverton and many commercial businesses (that work on roads and infrastructure) are responsible for the 1 percent sales tax to fix the roads, they actually lobbied themselves on the voting ballot, marketed the tax by posters, and put money in the media.
So much money will come towards them since the population voted "yes" for this tax. The majority of the roads that will be fixed are in Riverton and whole Fremont County are paying this tax, since the lack of up keeping of the roads is an issue especially in the town of Riverton.
Yes Riverton has probably the most traffic passing through Fremont County but doesn't that also mean that they need to focus more on up keeping the roads as well and budget this better?
Wyoming weather circumstances like the cold, the snow, the heat and drought do damage our roads especially when you don't take care of it more often. Asphalt soaks up water that freezes it expands the asphalt and then when a plow hit the asphalt with a thick layer of snow on it, it can cause severe damage to the roads and the plow, that's why starting early with plowing is a good idea.
We spend more money on fixing roads then on personnel and keeping up with our roads.
I'm not trying to say that the Lander City Council does a better job with budgeting than the Riverton City Council and want to cause a Lander vs. Riverton conflict, both cities definitely have issues and that's why we did vote our councils in, so they will work on issues related to our two so different communities.
My question is simply that we should know where our priority is, is it with the safety for our residents or does it lie in a different place?