Our View: Don’t bury seniors in snow

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As the Moffat County Commissioners continue to sift through budget woes, we’re curious what’s next on the chopping block for our county.

Editorial board

Noelle Leavitt Riley — Newspaper representative

Gail Severson — Community representative

Shirley Balleck — Community representative

Recently, the commissioners decided to stop snow plowing services for seniors outside of city limits in 2017, leaving them in a rut as to how they’ll remove snow from their properties.

Since the Craig Daily Press first wrote about the issue, many in the community have been critical of the county commissioners’ decision to bury the service.

We think the community should speak up and tell the commissioners how they feel. The commissioners meet at 8:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Moffat County Courthouse. Rather than just rumbling about the decision, we believe residents should be heard.

The county is poised to slash $14 million from its budget by 2021, and the commissioners decided that removing snow plowing services from elders would save them $12,000. We’re curious what other cuts they’re going to make? Perhaps they should publicly put out a statement outlining what other entities will be affected.

The good news is that community members are coming together in typical Craig fashion to help seniors with snow plowing.

When the Craig Daily Press posted the story on Facebook last week, not only were people extremely upset with the commissioners, but they also sought solutions to help.

If there’s an opportunity for Moffat County residents to pull together and find out which of the 41 elders used the county’s services, then maybe it can be determined who can help who.

Daily Press Reporter Lauren Blair found out that our neighboring counties — Routt and Rio Blanco — don’t offer snow removal to their seniors, so it seems the service to begin with was somewhat of an anomaly.

That doesn’t mean we agree with the commissioners’ decision, but it does highlight what other counties do.

We feel the commissioners need to be more thoughtful about their decisions. Many in the community feel our veterans and senior citizens need to be at the forefront of good decision making.

In this case, many seniors who desperately need Moffat County’s help feel left in the ditch.

Comments

Mark Jacobson 4 months, 3 weeks ago

This is gonna sound cold, and unpopular. The reality is that the county never should've offered the service in the first place. When you make a decision to buy property out in the country you're also going to have to be self reliant. The city provides plowing in town, and if you age you get to the point you can't live out in the country anymore the onus is still on you to take care of yourself.

Moffat County is exceptional in that it ever offered this in the first place, it's an uncommon service to provide and shouldn't be expected. That said, neighbors should look to support one another and that appears to be the case with some very commendable individuals. That being said, most counties do not offer this, and we're facing a budget crisis over the coming years. Wait until you see what else they have to cut, this is nothing.

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David Moore 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I spoke to quick and offered to help, but I guess I did not pick up on the "outside city limits" part. I don't think it's practicle for me to try and shovel a half mile long road with a shovel and a snowblower, it would take all day. If I had a plow for my truck, I'm there, but I don't and they seem to want astronomical amounts for them. I'll still gladly help those inside city limits with driveways and sidewalks, I'm just not prepared to do much else. I agree with you Mark, if you're going to live in the country, you're kind of on your own, but they started this and now people depend on it. Just yanking it with no workable solution is what got people all riled up, including myself. I don't know what it costs to plow a half mile driveway, but I would hope those local businesses who are going to get the upcoming job might find it in their hearts to not gouge the elderly and cut them a break on the cost. And yea, not going to be pleasant to see what else gets cut.

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Tammy Showalter 4 months, 2 weeks ago

People are going to be upset with any cuts to any services....those same people should come forward with monetary solutions. There are businesses who provide the service needed to maintain those roads. Is it any different than having a large lawn....when you get to old to care for it you have to pay someone to do it for you. That's life.

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