When the next major winter storm hits, King County may be able to clear a lot more snow and ice from county roads.
The Local Services, Regional Roads and Bridges Committee of the King County Council heard a report from King County’s Road Services Division on how the county could treat more unincorporated roads in the event of a snow storm during a public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The Road Services Division submitted the Snow and Ice Response Plan in response to a proviso that Councilmember Reagan Dunn included in the most recent county budget, according to a county press release. Dunn’s proviso requested the county to increase the total miles of snowplow routes in unincorporated areas.
The report identifies 70 miles of unincorporated snowplow routes could be added to the existing 582 miles of designated routes. Of these 70 miles, 10.7 miles fall within the vicinity of Covington, Black Diamond and Maple Valley. Neighborhoods that will receive more snowplows include portions of Kentlake, Sawyer Ridge, Lake Morton and other neighborhoods off Covington-Sawyer Road, the press release stated.
“Last February’s snowstorms pushed county resources to the limit and reminded us all of how important it is to be prepared for extreme weather,” Dunn stated in the press release. “As we go into the next budget cycle, I will continue to work to ensure that more unincorporated roadways are kept clear and safe during winter storms.”
The Road Services Division presented three options for achieving this increase:
•Utilizing on-call contractors to bolster County efforts as needed, or
•Hiring 18 new full-time County employees, or
•Leveraging resources such as equipment and labor from other County agencies.
The report also identified resources the Road Services Division would need to implement the increase. According to the report, the Road Services Division prefers the first option, which allows for flexibility in snow response operations and is the lowest cost, the press release stated.
The Snow and Ice Response Plan Report will be received by the full council on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Any additional funding would need to be identified in the upcoming budget cycle.