Snow-berm removal service ends

Popular program for seniors' driveways cut due to Hayden's budget woes

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HAYDEN - The Hayden City Council this week unanimously decided to discontinue a popular and rapidly expanding snow-berm removal service that cleared snow from the front of residents' driveways.

The program started with approximately 20 residents being served, but last year about 230 residents had been approved for the service.

The service was initiated several years ago to assist citizens with physical limitations.

To receive the service a city resident must have a note from a doctor saying they can't remove the berm themselves.

"It was a very difficult decision," Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange said Thursday. "We just don't have the funding for it. Our budget is very tight."

She said Hayden has one of the lowest city property tax rates in the state, holding revenues low.

DeLange said the city wanted to inform residents now so they can make new arrangements for berm removal this winter.

She said the limited funding has led to reduced manpower and a lack of adequate equipment.

"We've gone through major staff reductions," Hayden City Administrator Stefan Chatwin said. "The city has very low tax rates, and we have to be very careful how money is spent."

The city's primary responsibility is clearing the public roads of snow for access by emergency responders and the general public, he said.

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