East Side Casperites Want Snow Stored Elsewhere; They Say Land Was For A Park
There's no business like snow business, and there's no snow business like the dirty, draining mess some residents endure near 21st and Wyoming Boulevard.
"We want the snow to stop," Debbie Snell told Casper City Council at a work session Tuesday.
"This is thousands of tons of snow," Snell said.
She and five neighbors told council members the massive amounts of snow have soaked the ground, possibly have contributed to cracked walls and foundations of their homes, eroded soil, turned some of their back yards into swamps, caused fences to collapse, leached salt into the ground, and possibly affected deterioration in their streets.
During winter storms, and the following days of clearing the streets, trucks haul the snow to the area throughout the days and nights, Stephanie Harrison said. At night, the trucks and other heavy equipment make so much noise they cannot sleep, Harrison said.
Mayor Dan Sandoval said the city had stored snow at Wyoming Boulevard and South Poplar Street until recently when a developer had the land platted for a subdivision.
The city then turned to the 21st Street location, Sandoval said.
But Snell and others said the snow storage is among several problems happening at the site, which had been considered for a trade with a Casper Mountain landowner whose property on Casper Mountain overlaps the popular Bridle Trail.
Snell was among those who objected to the proposed trade. She said property records going back 40 years showed the land was supposed to be set aside for a park, and nothing has changed.
She and others have said they moved to that area because of the dedicated open land, which was not supposed to be developed or used for other purposes including snow storage and a de facto dump.
The city hasn't adhered to the requirements about the park, residents said.
They're not asking the city to develop a city park, especially during the economic downturn, they said. But they want the snow storage to stop, a sign and a minimum fence to indicate the site is park land, and more restricted access so people don't dump their trash there.
"We would at least like the city to accept responsibility for that piece of property, and to control the access," Joe MacGuire said. "Right now people are going over and shoot fireworks, and break TVs and things. It needs to be cleaned up, access restricted, and the city do some maintenance to it."
Sandoval and council member Wayne Heili said the land is not suited for a park.
Sandoval added he didn't think the agreement that the park designation 40 years ago is valid now, which drew a sharp rebuke from MacGuire who wondered how the mayor could know that.
Heili and other council members agreed the city needs to look for other locations to store the snow, and asked City Manager V.H. McDonald to have city staff report back to the council by April 26.