Will City of Wayland drop sidewalk snowplowing?

Wayland City Council members appear to be between a rock and a hard place on an issue that’s probably near and dear to the hearts of many residents — sidewalk snowplowing.

Council received a report and recommendation from the Budget Committee that suggested the city drop the service because it cannot afford it any more.

City Manager Josh Eggleston said, “The (23-year-old) plow we have right now is done” and he estimated it would cost at least $150,000 to replace it, money the city just doesn’t have.

Eggleston said things are bad enough economically in attempting to fix and pave Park Street, which he said will cost $6.3 million.

“We don’t have a long-term capital improvement plan,” he said. “It means we can’t fund other projects, either. We have to come up with another way to fund that blow because our budget won’t handle it.”

He suggested the capital improvement fund is “about $4 million underfunded.”

The city manager said Wayland is not alone with this problem. Many other municipalities are facing similar problems.

“So the question is, are we going to continue to do our sidewalks, or are we going to do roads?”

He noted the city probably has about $280,000 coming in for revenue sharing, but that amount is inadequate to fund a multi-million dollar road project that’s been delayed already.

Mayor Tim Bala insisted the sidewalk plowing program is valuable as a matter of health, safety and welfare and proposed the city could delay purchase of a police cruiser or make cuts elsewhere.

Kelli Tobolic, former Planning Commission member, appeared as a citizen to protest elimination of sidewalk plowing.

“It that’s something (a service) you’re removing, we were told that’s something you guys would always take care of. Our taxes are high, but we’re told we get a lot of services.”

She told the council she lives on Locust Street and agreed to pay part of the installation cost of a sidewalk there because of the understanding city crews would plow them.

“And now you’re going to take it away,” she said. “I think you’ll get a lot of pushback on this.”
Council members did not make a decision on the proposal Monday night and vowed to take it up again at their next meeting Monday evening, June 21.

Eggleston said council could leave the expense out of the 2021-22 budget and reinstate it if necessary with a budget amendment in the fall.

“If you suspend the service, you have to have a heard deadline for the residents,” he added.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council:

  • Agreed to pay A-1 Asphalt $62,575 for paving repairs near the intersection of Reno Drive and West Superior, in front of United Bank.
  • Adopted a resolution supporting rezoning for a proposed residential project at 915 and 921 133rd Ave. from R-A agricultural to R-1 residential.
  • Noted that about five City of Wayland representatives will tour a marijuana business facility in West Michigan from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. ahead of making a decision about permitting such a facility in Wayland.
  • Learned from Police Chief Mark Garnsey that the department is looking into prospects for a community block party to help neighbors get to know their neighbors later this summer.





  • I don’t have “any monkeys in this circus “, but $150,000 is quite an extravagant piece of snow removal equipment.
    Sounds as if someone else should be looking at replacement equipment and prices.

  • “City Manager Josh Eggleston said, ‘The (23-year-old) plow we have right now is done’ and he estimated it would cost at least $150,000 to replace it, money the city just doesn’t have.”

    AT LEAST $150,000!!?? I’ll sell them a 2017 bobcat with less than 500 hours with 2 speeds, high flow hydraulics, fully enclosed cab with heat and a/c, keyless start, joystick controls, 18″ like new tracks, and an 80″ bucket for $60,000. Then, buy a 72″ snow blower attachment for $5,000 and you’ll be out the door for less than half what the city is talking about. Then, not only will they have a snow blower but they will also have a versatile working machine for the summer too!

    What kind of gold plated, bloated pig is Wayland trying to buy??!!

    • Mike, good observation. Typical government bloat pricing.. better to price high than low thinking. I thought as you did, way too high!

  • Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice in the article there going to or maybe put on hold purchasing a new police car, for one thing they have to many as it is and these vehicles should last at least 15 or more years in a city this size, I also noticed the DPW has another new truck, this is another department that has more equipment than a city of this size needs. Plus they use that new utility tractor that picks up brush in the winter to do sidewalks it has a blower and plow attachment for it.

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