|Updated: 12/12/2013 7:19 pm
||Published: 12/12/2013 5:18 pm
Another day of above freezing temperatures helped get rid of sheets of ice blanketing neighborhoods across Tulsa.
On Thursday a Tulsa city councilor proposed the city clean residential streets in future winter storms.
Jack Henderson said plenty of cities handle clearing all their roads, not just the main arterial streets.
The question is, can Tulsa handle the cost of plowing residential streets?
"I think the idea of having that for our city would be a great idea. However, I don't think that it's feasible, you know, to have that done for the entire city," said Karen Spradlin, a Tulsan.
She doesn't think most Tulsans would be willing to shell out the extra cash.
"It just depends on how much. From what I gather, I understand that it might be a little bit, you know, expensive," she said.
Dan Crossland is the director of the city's Streets Department and said he'll look into the numbers, but he already knows, "It's going to be expensive. There's just no way around that. How much money is it costing the city not to clean those streets? How many people miss work? How many people -- the kids stay at home ... how much money are we losing?"
Henderson said we've done it before.
"The last big storm we hired people to go out in neighborhoods, private contractors, and help clean those streets."
But Crossland said after the blizzard in 2011 contractors only cleared arterial streets, not residential, and the only reason the city could afford that $1.5 million cost was because the federal government paid the city back.
"Buying the equipment would not be the hard part. The hard part would be the personnel," he said.
With the city on a hiring freeze, Crossland is already dealing with about half the staff he used to have and he would need more than double the normal staff to get through the entire city.
Tulsa has a lot of streets. In fact, plowing all of them would be the equivalent of plowing from New York City to Los Angeles to Tulsa and still having 500 miles left to cover.
The only solution, he says, would be to hire private contractors.
Crossland said based on past bids it would cost the city about $400 an hour to hire contractors and even if they worked around the clock, it would still take several days to clear the entire city.