Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Pam Pruitt
Mayor of Mill Creek 

Snow, snow and more snow

 

January 17, 2020



What a difference the right city manager can make.

Last February, the City’s response to the extreme snow event was anemic at best. It wasn’t all the City’s fault. According to WSDOT, half of its plowing equipment was out of service. Even our own equipment broke down. Our maintenance staff worked tirelessly but were outmatched by the weather.

City Manager Michael Ciaravino heard councilmembers’ unhappiness with the 2019 snow response. This year, he had the City prepared. During the budget process, Michael recommended having a plowing company on standby for major events. The City contracted with a firm located in Mukilteo.

The Friday before the storm, Michael had the company stage its equipment in Mill Creek for the oncoming storm. When the snow arrived, the equipment was already here and their employees got to work plowing. Great planning! Public Works employees were also on standby to jump in when needed. There is so much to do beyond plowing the streets. Our people were out day and night handling downed trees, ice, and snow.

As I write this column, the worst of the snow may be done. A major windstorm is still expected. Staff continues to work around the clock to remove snow, ice, and debris from primary and secondary streets. Regardless, Mill Creek is now prepared. Our two new large trucks with plowing and sanding attachments have not yet arrived. Apparently, we can’t just go to the store and buy a couple of big public works trucks. This equipment is essential for maintenance throughout the year. It’s not just for snow. When the trucks arrive, our staff will be even more efficient.

Thank you to everyone including our police department and public works staff for working out in the cold, wet, and windy weather to help Mill Creek stay safe and keep moving. As my Dad always said, “If it’s not worth your deductible, don’t drive.”

Hunger is still a problem

During the holidays, our community is very generous to the local food bank. After the holidays, when all the credit card statements come in and the weather is miserable, donations can fall off. We have food bins located just inside the door at City Hall. Anytime the building is open, including Saturdays during passport service hours, food donations can be dropped off. Bottom line: If you can, please continue to give. People are still hungry.

Thank you for the extra help

One of the most boring tasks councilmembers must do is ‘voucher duty.’ Each month, two councilmembers review the City’s paid bills. We rotate the duty so everyone must participate. I appreciate Councilmember Stephanie Vignal’s extra assistance reviewing the bills even when it’s not her rotation. The more eyes on the job, the better for our City. Thank you, Stephanie!

 

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