Snow removal in the Royal Run subdivision south of Whitestown Parkway near Interstate 65 was exceptionally challenging because some residents ignored signs restricting parking during a snow emergency.
A private contractor was hired to help clear the subdivision’s streets, Boone County Highway Superintendent Rick Carney said Friday.
“With all the hard pack in there, most of the time he was just skinning the loose stuff,” Carney told the Boone County Commissioners at a meeting postponed from Monday because of the snow emergency. “Whitestown brought in a backhoe to help us one night.”
The no parking signs were “a waste of money,” Carney said.
“I know I have the right to ... send the police in there to ticket and or tow, but I was nice and didn’t do it,” Carney said. “When we get a snow like this, I just do not have time to go down there and take care of their subdivision so they can get out to work before everyone else.”
Nor did the Boone County Sheriff’s Office have the time or personnel to send a deputy to Royal Run to handle those duties, Carney said.
“The sheriff can tell you they were so busy, there was no way they could get there,” Carney said.
He’ll ask the Royal Run Homeowners Association to help with some of the snow removal expenses. “The homeowners association is going to have to get on those people so we can get in there and clear those streets off,” Carney said.
Commissioner Marc Applegate, whose district includes Royal Run, said he will attend the meeting.
Every piece of equipment that can plow snow is operating, as crews work to widen plowed streets and remove slush, Carney said. “We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.”
He apologized to county residents about plowing across driveways, “but it can’t be helped,” Carney said.
Sheriff Ken Campbell said his office began preparing for the Jan. 5 storm 36 hours in advance, adding extra staff, and “still, it was call to call to call.”
Commissioner Dan Lawson asked Carney to tell his employees how appreciative he was of their efforts.
“If people can do nothing but complain and send nasty emails to us, they need to show up at public meetings and address it with us, instead of calling you guys,” Lawson said.
He appreciated how Campbell was “able to keep such a calm attitude” during interviews by radio and TV reporters while the county was under a Level III snow emergency – which stipulates the public should attempt travel only in an emergency.
Some businesses should remain open during an emergency, Campbell said, but only if they provide an essential service, such as auto parts stores, groceries and pharmacies. Too many drivers who had no business being on the roads created unnecessary danger to themselves and to police, fire and EMS personnel, Campbell said.
“We’re paid to take risks, but not needless risks,” Campbell said. “I wish we could turn people away” from roads during the storm.
"Every time you do something stupid and get out during a snowstorm like this, it endangers these people’s lives," Commissioner Jeff Wolfe said.
“You can’t fix stupid,” Lawson said.