Normally I would have arrived at home and banged out an angry and energy filled post full of hate and teeming with expletives which would later need to be erased, over and over again. Instead of responding right away I sat on this idea for several days to give myself some time to think it over and respond in a far less rash manner. Time did little to help my feelings that Apple Valley needs to change something about how it chooses to inappropriately spend my money.
On Sunday I left the house during the falling snow. Figuring this was Minnesota and I pay my taxes, this really should not have been a problem; after all, those taxes go to important and necessary infrastructure improvements and caring for that infrastructure and not for things like multi-million dollar senior centers and golf clubhouses, right?
As I traversed the snow, ice, and slush covered roadways I noticed two things:
- 1. The snow plows were out doing their thing.
2. What the drivers were doing was not making any sense whatsoever.
First things first, as you can see from the picture above (which was taken at the intersection of CR-42 (county) and Galaxie (city), they hadn’t been plowing and they were using sand instead of salt. Now, sand can be useful but not really when it’s ice on the bottom of the snow and the snow hasn’t been plowed and as people drive on it, it becomes a compacted tundra of slipperiness.
Before reaching that messy intersection of Unplowed Street and Unplowed Ave, I saw Apple Valley’s snow plows giving the best treatment ever to the roads which surround Kelley Park. While plowing nearly unused side streets for an unpopulated area must have seemed like a great idea for the drivers looking to make an extra buck in OT, it didn’t make any sense at all when they weren’t plowing Foliage or Galaxie, both streets which are far more heavily utilized than the nuclear wastelands around the park.
Seeing this and shaking my head, I continued on to my destination via 140th which was still unplowed and with heavy traffic. As I approached Garden View, I lost control of my car, spun in a 360 across the center line and stopped in the on-coming lane and luckily missed both people in my own direction of travel and the truck with a snowplow adorning the front end coming from the opposite direction. After waving my thanks in an embarrassed manner, I thanked my lucky stars my wife and children were not in the car and cursed the four idiots on the Apple Valley City Council who voted for a new golf clubhouse instead of more funding for snow removal.
Listen up: you want to build multi-million dollar facilities which attract little or no new revenue into the city, you go for it but if you do NOT do what you need to do to have a minimum level of basic road care then you made a big error in judgement. The fact that the Apple Valley golf course didn’t have a fancy building didn’t seem to stop revenue for the 30 years the old building was there and the old senior center was apparently just fine yet we have two new ones. Yet, we have very, very, very limited road care in the winter and even when the snowplows are out working (not 500 feet from the snowy intersection of Cedar and Galaxie) they aren’t giving priority to the streets which matter.
I get it, we need to spend tax money on items which meet the needs to everyone. Well, I don’t know what meets the needs of everyone more than plowed roads in the winter. It is very unlikely I, or the vast and overwhelming majority of other Apple Valley residents, will ever step foot in that golf clubhouse or senior center but let me eat crow right now if 99.99999% of Apple Valley residents don’t get out onto those roads at least 6 days a week. Which do you think is more important to the community and our tax dollars?
Were you out in the snow and ice on Sunday? What did you think of the road conditions? Do you think more emphasis should be put on road care in the winter than new buildings for the golf course? Is it amazing to you that unpopulated streets in parks are plowed and cared for before more widely used roads like Galaxie and Foliage? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.