Dave Regeimbal said in a public setting at this week’s Crookston City Council meeting what many Crookston residents have been fuming about under their breath or to their friends and family for weeks, ever since our normally frigid January for a week or so gave way to unseasonably mild temperatures that offered up a rare January thaw. We actually lost a fair amount of snowpack, with a few days in which the thermometer didn’t even dip below freezing overnight.

    Dave Regeimbal said in a public setting at this week’s Crookston City Council meeting what many Crookston residents have been fuming about under their breath or to their friends and family for weeks, ever since our normally frigid January for a week or so gave way to unseasonably mild temperatures that offered up a rare January thaw. We actually lost a fair amount of snowpack, with a few days in which the thermometer didn’t even dip below freezing overnight.

    City of Crookston Public Works crews hit some streets with their heavy equipment during those surprisingly mild days to clear snow and ice that had built up since winter settled in, but they have their protocol when it comes to what streets get cleared first and what streets get cleared last, and when temperatures returned to a more normal, much colder level, Crookston residents were left to drive on streets that, to put it mildly, were bumpy and rutted by snow, slush and ice that refroze once the cold temperatures set in.

    Not on Crookston’s main thoroughfares, mind you. On most of those streets, our vehicle’s tires rolled along on smooth concrete or asphalt. But, wow, some streets that you might consider to be primary roads that would be cleared earlier rather than later – like the heavily traveled North Front – it was no fun getting around. And if we as drivers think it’s tough, think how taxing such conditions are on our vehicles.

    Regeimbal was irked that more streets weren’t tackled by Public Works crews during the January warmup. He was more irked by the fact that he said he saw then and he continues to see now crews trimming trees when, according to him, they should have been and should continue to be scraping streets.

    He’s right, but what are you going to do, besides vent? When it comes to any city’s street crews, most people either love them or hate them. They’re either doing an amazing job, an awful job, or maybe worst of all, no job at all. When you live on a street in Crookston, like Regeimbal does, that is one of the last in town to be visited by Public Works personnel operating plows or graders or sanding trucks, it can be especially frustrating.

    But for every Regeimbal out there who’s critical and more than likely justifiably so, there’s going to be someone full of praise for our local Public Works crews. You can also bet that the person full of compliments lives on a street that’s always among the first to be tackled by plows, graders and sanding trucks.

    It’s about to warm up again, for several days. Like Vice Mayor Dale Stainbrook told Regeimbal at the city council meeting, Public Works crews plan to get out and hit as many streets as possible that are still home to patches of rutted snow, ice and slush.

    Thanks. That would be great.