Frisco will continue plowing senior drives |

Frisco will continue plowing senior drives

SUMMIT COUNTY – Frisco’s seniors can stay toasty warm in bed on wintery mornings, but older residents of other Summit County towns have to fire up their snowblowers along with the rest of the citizenry.

Frisco’s plow drivers clear the driveways for about a dozen senior citizens after each snowstorm. Despite budget constraints, Frisco opted this year to continue the service.

“Frisco is really about the small mountain town, the neighborly, community-spirit feeling,” said Frisco spokeswoman Linda Lichtendahl, “so we are doing it this year.

“Next year in the fall, during budget discussions, we will again be reviewing the program.”

The Dillon Town Council recently discussed the idea of resurrecting the senior snowplowing program but rejected it unanimously. Dillon offered the service to its seniors from the late 1970s until 1998. By then, public works employees were plowing the driveways of about 20 seniors.

“It was almost up to an 8-hour-a-day job,” said Dillon public works director Eric Holgerson. “Also, it was our last priority after we got done with all the other (streets). We were beginning to get telephone calls from senior citizens wondering when we were going to be there. They wanted quicker response than we were able to provide.

“Originally, it was to be for people who were on limited incomes. Toward the end, that wasn’t the case.”

Dillon town manager Jack Benson said he doesn’t think plowing driveways for private citizens is a proper function of government.

“You have to sit down and decide what’s a public health, safety and welfare issue,” he said, “and I don’t think giving breaks to seniors is always the thing to be doing.

“Some seniors deserve the help. Others don’t. I think it becomes problematic.”

Silverthorne, too, once offered the service but stopped it three years ago due to budget and staffing constraints. It’s not something the town plans to reinstate, said town manager Kevin Batchelder.

Unlike the other towns, Breckenridge has not offered the service in the past and town manager Tim Gagen said it won’t do so.

“It’s an unusual level of service,” he said. “We’re just not in that kind of business.”

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