Crashing into the city of Monument

Noah Tabones, 11, car stuck in a ditch after crashing it.

Noah Tabone

Noah Tabone’s, 11, car stuck in a ditch after crashing it.

Melanie Peterson, Ranger Review Editor

The fluffy white powder that falls from the sky every now and then, sparkles from the light of the sun, but is immediate ice when it hits the ground. Within the past few weeks, Lewis-Palmer High School has had seven snow days all together, due to the black ice and feet of snow that has been received. Colorado Springs has a total city budget of just under 1.1 million dollars, which is restored every January 1st. According to KRDO, channel 13 weather website; Corey Farkas, manager of the city’s Streets Division said that this year, $437,000, which is forty percent of the total materials budget, has been spent on plows for the roads.

According to KRDO,

Farkas said the cost of response and cleanup during the six-day storm event includes materials such as sand and deicer, as well as $78,000 in overtime for employees.

“We typically don’t budget for such a big storm,” he said.  “We spent more than a third of our $1.1 million materials budget.  But we use most of that in January and February anyway.”

Farkas said plowing and removing so much snow was the biggest challenge.

Typically, the city does not spend money on plows for Downtown, but due to the recent circumstances, plows had to be sent out along the roads. The snow has affected the city budget, the School District’s education planning and teenagers attending Lewis-Palmer High School.

Students and parents who live in houses located outside of the city of Monument, and near dirt roads have a longer commute to school and work. Thus, the transportation hassle can be a serious issue for them.

“I had my car in a dirt patch in front of my house, I thought that it would be enough dry dirt for my tires to get moving and plow through the snow,” Noah Tabone, 11, said. “So, I drove out of the snow, made my way down the driveway and started to drive up a hill. Of course, I got stuck. At this point, I decided it would be a good idea to either go into reverse, or just go at a faster speed while in drive. Either way, I threw it into reverse and felt the car start to dip a little bit. So I hit the brakes, but the snow made my car slide and I went into a ditch, then hit a tree which caused the back driver’s side window to break and a huge dent in one of the doors.”

A car is something that is an efficient tool that gets a student from point A to point B. When a car is damaged or just completely undrivable from natural accidents, owners are forced to find an alternative form of transportation.

“I live on a dirt road right next to Fox Run Park, so the snow never gets plowed and it’s just terrible. I wish that they could have plowed the street I live on so that I wouldn’t have crashed my car,” Tabone said.

The close to 1.1 million dollar budget can cover snow plows for the main roads, but areas around Fox Run Park or Black Forest are not considered priority. Today, Tabone’s car is still in the ditch, due to the mud and snow. Dirt roads that are not regularly plowed have potential danger for those who have not had experience in driving in that weather, or driving on slick roads. Some students’ chose to take the bus because their cars are not built for the snowy weather.

“I hate driving in the snow. I had to ride the bus twice during two of the worst snow days this year, because my car doesn’t drive well in the snow,” Hayden Lingle, 12, said. “When it snows, it takes longer to get home because I live out in Black Forest, so the roads out there are terrible, especially since I live on a dirt road and it is not plowed.”

Since it is almost spring time, the snow could be expected to stop, or just get worse all together. If the city has to use up the rest of its 1.1 million dollar budget before the year is up, then they will have to draw from other financial resources to ensure that the roads stay clear and all are able to get to and from school as safely as possible.