Group hopes to bring snow gates back to Sioux Falls for good - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Group hopes to bring snow gates back to Sioux Falls for good

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We don't want to talk about winter when we're still, technically, in summer. But it's on the mind of one Sioux Falls group and they say they are looking out for you.

They call themselves Citizens For Snow Gates. After a two year trial run, the group hopes the gates are here to stay.

4,000 homes got to benefit from the test-runs of three snow gates in 2010 and 2011. While the Streets Department says it's going to take a lot more snow gates to benefit the whole city, Citizens For Snow Gates plans to do whatever it takes to bring them here for good.

"We feel that we deserve and we desire a vote on this progressive, user-friendly service," Theresa Stehly said.

It will start with a petition. Theresa Stehly says they're shooting for 5,500 signatures over the next six months to make a public vote happen.

"This is a really positive, win-win project, and we'll have a can-do attitude as we move forward," Stehly said.

Sioux Falls City Council member Kermit Staggers knows it's a popular issue and is happily on board.

"What she's doing is something that people want to have. They love the snow gates. This is an opportunity that will benefit just about everyone in Sioux Falls," Councilor Kermit Staggers said.

The city currently owns three snow gates, at $5,800 each. The city would need about 22 more snow gates to benefit everyone. Stehly claims she worked out a deal to get a $1,000 discount on each one, saving the city thousands of dollars if it buys several more.

"This will cost a bit of money and will cost more in operations. But once again, it benefits everyone," Staggers said.

"This is a quality of life project. I say let the citizens vote on this now," Stehly said

The signature collection starts this week. They need at least 5% of registered voters to sign before the issue goes to a public vote.

There will be a public meeting about these efforts held Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the downtown library.

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