City officials' response to a county report that says most cities were unprepared for a mammoth snowstorm in January range from "nonsense" to the statement that it was impossible for any government to completely prepare for such a rare storm.
Sandy Mayor Larry Smith said his city shouldn't be included on any list of the unprepared."We had a plan ready for such things. We put every piece of equipment out on the roads. We went into our plan with maximum effort," Smith said.
"We thought we did incredibly well," Smith added. "I don't think any city did a better job in the valley."
Salt Lake County Fire Chief Larry Hinman said the report wasn't meant to criticize Sandy, just other cities.
Both West Jordan and West Valley City conducted their own assessments of how they performed, and officials in both cities gave their efforts high marks.
West Valley Public Works Director Russ Willardson said the city's biggest weakness was a lack of manpower. Although temporary crews were called in to help, they were not always familiar with snow-removal operations.
"Other cities and the county had the luxury of calling in personnel from other departments - water, sanitation - but we didn't have those resources," Willardson said.
Coordination with the county and state left something to be desired in the early days of the emergency, but was not a big problem, according to Willardson. "For the most part, we take care of our own streets, the county takes care of theirs and the state does theirs. We had agreements with the county on clearing border roads, and that worked well," he said.
Greg Walkenhorst, West Jordan assistant public works director, said he felt "pretty good" about the city's efforts, but the storm opened his eyes about preparation and necessity of backup equipment.
He said that it is hard to justify buying more equipment to be prepared for such a rare emergency or even three months of snowstorms. He said the city is considering agreements with private contractors to provide service in emergency situations.