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Resident questions Hallock city plow and sander situation

By Anna Jauhola
For almost a year, the city of Hallock’s snow plow/sanding truck has been out of commission.
Greg Norby, of Hallock, attended the council meeting on Monday, Jan. 8 to express his concern as to why the truck is still broken. At the end of December, a rain event hit the area and caused seriously icy conditions throughout the county. The city had to call in the county highway department to sand, which they did, but much later in the day.
“I want to know what the deal is with the sanding truck – why we don’t have it, why we don’t have a plan B. How long has it been broke down?” Norby asked during the public comment period.
Mayor Dave Treumer said it’s been broken almost a year and it’s been a process just trying to work with Bert’s Truck Equipment in East Grand Forks.
Utilities Superintendent Dan Larson said the truck has been sitting at Bert’s since September because it took a long time to get a written quote from them, which is required for insurance purposes. Norby asked why the city doesn’t try to get a different company to fix the truck since they’ve had so much trouble. Larson said Bert’s specializes in plow and sanding equipment, and installed the original plow equipment. Councilor Naomi Larson also said it hasn’t been for a lack of trying on the city’s part to get the truck fixed – several councilors along with City Clerk Aimee Sugden, Assistant Clerk Kendra Kroening, Dan Larson and others have called and visited Bert’s to try and speed them along.
Earlier in the meeting, Larson approached the council about planning to purchase a smaller sander that will fit in the bed of a pickup. He said the cost is about $4,000 and would not only be a good backup plan, but also help the city crew sand in smaller areas requested throughout the city. He will be bringing quotes to the next council meeting.
Norby asked why there wasn’t a plan B like this in place already, considering the plow truck has been out of commission for nearly a year.
“It’s been a fiasco by my place with lots of people trying to make that corner,” said Norby, who lives near the Hallock Ice Arena. “It was fun watching them try to stop.”
Treumer said again the city plans to purchase a smaller sanding machine for a pickup bed as backup and acknowledged the city should have done something much sooner. Larson also apologized for the slippery conditions after the ice event, noting he also fell down recently due to ice, noting it’s still slick around town.
Treumer added Bert’s said the truck was supposed to be fixed and returned to Hallock by last week. As of Monday, Jan. 15, the truck had not  been fixed and returned.

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