Just read Mr. Kiehn's op-ed on the snow/ice confrontation with Helena's streets. It is a well written and informative piece and he most certainly does point out the many salient facts associated with the situation. Too, and importantly, he does give credit to the crews and others who labor intensely to remedy, as best they can, those problems. All things considered at this point of time, they are fighting a seemingly acknowledged losing battle. Helena is partly situated on hills. Thus, gravity dictates what will happen when vehicles attempt to traverse streets when facing inclement situations. Such is evident when little or no snow but ice alone sometimes dictates circumstances.

Having lived in Helena, I can attest to having the bats scared out of my belfry on more than one occasion. At present, I live on a hillside just outside of town and since it is a private road, we pay for road maintenance, year 'round. Works good for us.

Solution? Probably none. Well, maybe a magic wand or a money tree. Otherwise, a lot of new equipment and operators which would probably sit idle in lesser weather years. What is available now is budgeted and wisely dedicated to planned road maintenance, all seasons. Ask anyone if they'd like to pay higher taxes for any potential and/or realistic remedies. Wouldn't take long for a resounding "no" I would surmise.

We live in Montana where outdoor sporting folks ski on golf courses! It is Montana where the elements of all seasons do dictate varying road/street conditions! What can be done, despite the evident negative circumstances? Probably at best, do all things very carefully and.... live with it!!!!

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Jim Lay



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