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City council discusses snow gates at meeting

Press Photo by Lisa Call Dickinson City Commissioners from left: Joe Frenzel, Carson Steiner and Mayor Dennis Johnson listen to discussion about the pros and cons of using snow gates during a city commission meeting on Tuesday evening.

With the next big snowfall on the horizon and snow removal still a concern around Dickinson, city officials discussed removal procedures at a Dickinson City Commission meeting, Tuesday evening.

City officials have received several complaints about snow being plowed into driveways and City Engineer Shawn Soehren said though snow gates -- a snowplow attachment -- can reduce driveway snow, there are drawbacks as well.

"They are a very high-maintenance piece of equipment," Soehren said, adding their life expectancy is about two years.

The effectiveness of snow gates is relative to the amount of snow received, Soehren said, adding they are only effective in about four to six inches of snow.

"Once you get over that, they find that it spills out and it still puts a ridge of snow in front of the driveways," Soehren said.

If the city decided to purchase a form of snow gates, any snow removal service the city contracted would have to purchase the gates as well.

Tracy Tooz, vice president of Tooz Construction Inc. in Dickinson, said while his company would be willing to install snow gates, they would significantly reduce productivity and could nearly double snow removal time.

"There is going to be issues with driveways whether we have snow gates on or not," Tooz said.

In other business:

The retirement of a long-standing law enforcement official was unexpectedly announced at Tuesday's meeting.

Dickinson Police Chief Chuck Rummel said Capt. Stewart Stenberg, assistant chief and near 20-year veteran of the police department, retired as of 5 p.m. Monday.

"He did a fantastic job for us while he was with the department and we're going to greatly miss him," Rummel said.