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Cracked sidewalks, efficiency and practicality


Last updated 7/19/2017 at 10:41am

Efficiency in government is always an important goal, but not always the most important one.

That point was made clear by the Coulee Dam Town Council last week when it directed that the worst of the town’s sidewalks should be fixed with money available for it, even if it would cost much more than waiting for a bigger job and higher efficiency.

The vote put an end to a months-long tussle over the subject, which has grown fissures in town politics wider than the cracks in the sidewalks themselves. The mayor has argued that the problem is much larger and more serious than the few sidewalks on which a walker might conceivably injure a shin, so high is the lift from ice and tree roots.

He’s right about that, and the town will need to address a long-term solution for funding maintenance of the walkways it took over — but did not keep up — many years ago.

An immediate fix is sorely needed for a few very bad spots, and the council was right to take the mayor up on his question about funding it immediately, which one might suspect he asked hoping no one would respond.

They did, and he promised to implement the direction the council gave.

That will provide some relief on a nagging problem. Now the town must produce the leadership to solve the long-term one. It will require more than the rhetoric political seasons often bring.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher


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