Snow removal hotline created |

Snow removal hotline created

Jenifer Ragland

In response to complaints about a lack of communication during snow removal operations, El Dorado County Department of Transportation officials have set up an information line.

By calling 573-3180, residents have the option of talking to an operator, listening to the recording or leaving a message.

Tom Halvorson, road maintenance supervisor for the county, said the recorded message will be updated at the beginning of each 12-hour shift, and more often if problems arise.

The county is divided into eight zones within the Lake Tahoe Basin and each zone has one grader to remove snow.

If operations are running as they should be running during snow removal conditions, the message will say that all eight plows are working in their respective zones, Halvorson said.

The voice mail system was an idea that came out of a Meyers Community Roundtable meeting last month, where more that 100 residents voiced complaints about what they thought was unsatisfactory snow removal during the December 1996 storm.

The county did use a similar voice mail system in the past, but abandoned it because it did not seem to lessen the amount of complaints regarding snow removal, Halvorson said.

As an extra communication measure, Halvorson said he will also fax information about the status of the graders to local radio stations every morning that snow removal conditions exist.

“The biggest complaint was our communication with the public, so this has got to help that,” he said. “People say they want to know this stuff, so we’re gonna tell them.”

Sue Yang, chair of the Meyers Roundtable, said it is too early to tell if the voice mail system is working because so few residents know about it.

“Right now it just says there are no snow removal conditions, so I’m anxious to wait and see what happens during the first storm,” she said. “Then we will know more and be able to critique it better.”

Yang said Wednesday’s roundtable meeting will be a follow-up to last month’s discussion about snow removal, including any progress that has been made by the county or the California Department of Transportation.

County Supervisor Ray Nutting, Halvorson and Jim Russell will be on hand once again to answer questions and provide information.

Also on the agenda will be the status of the sign ordinance and an update from the Meyers traffic and safety subcommittee.

The Meyers Roundtable meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the library of Meyers Elementary School, at the corner of Apache and San Bernardino avenues.

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