Flowery Branch City Manager Bill Andrew told the City Council Thursday night he is looking at certain ways to prepare for the next snowstorm, including having a "standing agreement" with a contractor to clear roads.
The city also is looking at snow tires for police cars and a snowplow attachment for one of its pickup trucks, and it has stockpiled 16.5 tons of stone. Another 5,000 pounds of calcium chloride is on its way next week.
Another concern is addressing the hills and valleys of Sterling on the Lake, a partially developed 1,000-acre subdivision off Spout Springs and Capitola Farm roads.
"We're going to try to make a better effort there," Andrew said. "The equipment we did have simply couldn't handle the hills."
Council members nodded in agreement to Andrew's suggestions, with Councilwoman Tara Richards saying, "I like the idea of working with a contractor and having one on standby."
Overall, Andrew said, "we really feel like we outperformed some other communities in the area" during last week's storm, which dumped 6-8 inches of snow across the area and paralyzed traffic for several days.
"I sort of prepared myself to have an avalanche of negative comments about what we did do, and I received none," he said. "We had people certainly asking, ‘When will you be coming to my street?' and were concerned about that, but we really had no one complaining about the level of service we were providing.
"But naturally, we feel we could do better."
To clear the snow and ice packing streets, the city put down 7,500 pounds of calcium chloride and 20 tons of crushed rock. In the process, employees racked up about 20 hours of overtime, Andrew said.
In other business, the council gave its final OK to an ordinance setting election and qualifying dates for posts 1 and 2 held by Amanda Swafford and Chris Fetterman, respectively.
Qualifying for the council seats is set for Aug. 29-Sept. 2 and the election will take place Nov. 8.
Swafford was elected last year to serve out the unexpired term of Craig Lutz, who resigned to run for the Hall County Board of Commissioners, where he now serves as the South Hall representative.
Fetterman is in the fourth year of his first four-year term.