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As Bend residents shovel, private contractors stop plowing


The city of Bend has called off private snowplow contractors after a very snowy week. That’s partly because the weather changed and roads are now more passable – but also because they heard from so many people frustrated by the berms snowplows created at the end of driveways.

Since Monday, Central Oregonians have been shoveling out from beneath feet of snow, all while the city, along with city-hired private contractors, worked to clear it. But on Thursday afternoon, the city announced it called off the contractors who had been plowing neighborhood streets.

One of the reasons city officials gave for canceling the service was to stop creating community frustration over the ice berms in front of driveways.

But most people NewsChannel 21 spoke with said they’d rather deal with berms than unplowed streets.

“For what was done and how much came down, I think they did quite a good job in covering the streets as best as they could in the time they had to do it,” Selef Spragg said.

Jay Reynolds said, “It’s not common for Bend to get this amount of snow, so issues are expected,” Jay Reynolds said.

Spragg added, “Hammer, slam it out, but they had to do it, and we had to get out some way or another, so I appreciate that they plowed.”

And Reynolds added, “When the berms settle, trying to shovel that stuff – it’s solid. It’s ice. It’s not like shoveling your driveway.”

NewsChannel 21 contacted the Bend Streets Department, which said that since Monday, it has received 937 citizen service requests for snow-related issues

The city used to clear driveways, but since Bend’s population has grown so much, it’s no longer affordable, said Streets and Operations Director David Abbas.

“So today with our growth, three times that size, roughly upwards of 30,000 driveways in town, if you were to pay for that service once out of a Craigslist ad, that’s $80 a driveway. That’s $2.4 million,” he explained.

So would you pay extra for a crew to also go behind and clear those berms? Vote in our new KTVZ.COM on this page.

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