The City of St. Paul, Minn., may purchase an entirely new plow fleet in order to take on snow removal in alleys around the city. Right now, alley plowing is typically managed by property owners who engage a contractor to perform these services.

At a recent budget meeting, City Council discussed the possibility of taking this task on at the city level, which will make maintenance more uniform. The Department of Public Works will study whether it is viable to take on alley plowing in 2019 at a cost of $30,000.

According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, one concern about taking on plowing is the way St. Paul’s alleys are engineered. Unlike nearby Minneapolis, St. Paul’s alleys are not engineered to a specific width, and there is no drainage. When accounting the alleys, council members noted the complexity of the issue, and whether taking the time to plow would lead to more needs. None of the city’s alleys are lit, for example.

One City Council member noted that the study will need to be completed by the end of April 2019 in order to implement a plan before snow falls.

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