Snow woes in Minturn become a major concern |

Snow woes in Minturn become a major concern

Dustin Racioppi
Minturn, CO Colorado

MINTURN, Colorado “-The snowplow plan in Minturn is failing, and according to Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty, this season’s been the worst he’s seen.

“It’s a major concern at this point,” he said.

The Town Council received a lambasting Wednesday night from residents who say there’s a lack of plowing on backstreets and too much attention given to Main Street.

Boulder Street resident Floyd Duran said the plowing on his street was bad last year and this year is no better. The former public works director has had to plow his street himself, he said, and in the process has broken his wife’s fuel line on her car because of the neglect.

“This plow plan is not working,” he said. “All of my people up and down this street are sick of it.”

Duran said the problem isn’t necessarily the effort from the town’s public works crew, it’s a matter of timing. He said if plows hit the road early enough, problems of building up snowpack would be minimized.

“You’ve got to get out there early enough to plow before cars drive on it,” he said. “It’s not how to plow, it’s when to plow.”

Main Street resident Mark Sifers said he doesn’t understand why the town’s new alternate side of the street parking plan on Main Street “-which was designed to aid in snowplowing “-is even in effect because plows don’t always remove the snow.

“We’ve got all these people moving and nothing’s being done,” Sifers said. “It’s turned into a big problem.”

After receiving numerous phone calls complaining about the lack of effective snow removal in town, Flaherty and the council didn’t disagree with Wednesday night’s concerns.

“I have received more complaints about snow removal this year than I ever have in the past,” Flaherty said. “Unfortunately, these concerns haven’t been addressed.”

Council member Shelley Bellm has spent the snow season lamenting the town’s snow plowing, and didn’t stop Wednesday night. She’s also a resident of Boulder Street and knows the frustration of living on one of Minturn’s backstreets.

“There’s areas of town that go unnoticed,” she said. “We are focusing all of our time and energy on Main Street.”

But as Flaherty and Sifers pointed out, not even Main Street is getting all the attention it deserves.

“You go out on Monday and all the cars are moved and the same snow from Sunday is still there,” Flaherty said.

In public works’ defense, Interim Town Manager Gary Suiter said, the crews are on the roads, but sometimes the time and type of snowfall dictates when they’ll be out.

“Our guys are out there, they’re working hard,” Suiter said. “We can’t keep everything squeaky clean before everybody gets out on the roads.”

Suiter added that he knows plows have had metal on the streets as early as 4 a.m. this season. He’s also keeping a log of all the complaints to understand them and respond accordingly.

But at this point, Flaherty and the council want immediate action and are tired of fielding complaints from residents.

“This is the worst plowing year we’ve ever had,” Flaherty said. “Something has got to change and it has got to change tomorrow.”

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or

Support Local Journalism