Thanks to staff who kept roads clear and safe

In response to our Christmas Eve snow event I would like to send my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Island County Public Works employees who worked so hard through the holiday.

We had crews out manning plows and spreading sand from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 6 p.m. on Christmas Day and were back out again at 5 a.m. on Boxing Day. I commend those who gave up their holiday time with family in order to provide this service to our community.

It is important to understand that Island County maintains 534 miles of roadway and we have a priority map that determines the order in which roads get treated. Of course it makes sense to do arterials first, then feeder roads with neighborhoods last.

We do not maintain state, city or private roads. Additionally, our road crews can only respond as fast as safety permits.

When there are other vehicles on the road our drivers proceed as quickly as the flow of traffic allows; however, when individual cars are sliding or stuck we must consider our drivers’ safety as well as that of the public.

I realize that there were many difficulties to face in attempting to travel during this time, and, for that, I apologize for any inconvenience you encountered.

That being said, I ask that you consider our crews and what they gave up to be out on the road for you, the citizens of Island County.

Our employees devoted many long and stressful hours to take care of our roadways in the safest manner possible, and for this effort and sacrifice we should all be grateful, I certainly am.

Rick Hannold is an Island County Commissioner.

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