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St. Paul mayor, responding to complaints, shakes up snow-plowing effort

Mayor Chris Coleman reassigns the snow plow manager and orders new equipment to help improve conditions for driving on city streets.

Just a month after winning a landslide election, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman doesn’t seem to be coasting into his third term. He says he’s taking strong steps to improve the city’s snow-plowing efforts in response to many complaints about the sorry state of city roads after the recent snowfall.

Coleman acknowledged that the city didn’t perform well in handling  the season’s irst major snowfall, which was coupled with sub-zero temperatures, and he’s removed the department head in charge of snow plowing.

Street maintenance operations manager Kevin Nelson has been reassigned to other duties, officials said. For now, City Engineer John Maczko will oversee plowing and snow removal.

Coleman also ordered other measures to help clear the streets:

  • A continued increase in the use of salt and sand per square mile to help address current road conditions, a change made Sunday morning.
  • A reprioritization within the Public Works budget that will direct more than $2 million to accelerate the purchase of several additional salter/sander/plow trucks.

The city didn’t live up to expectations in clearing the latest snowfall, Coleman acknowledged.

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Sure, there were difficulties with the snow and cold, he said:

“But this is Minnesota, and we are no strangers to erratic snow fall. As a result of this weekend’s internal review, we will make a number of necessary changes to ensure Saint Paul remains the most livable city in America.”