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After city hall feels heat over the ice, St. Paul makes changes

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They say you can't fight city hall. But if they hear enough complaints, the people inside will make some changes.

At least that's what happened in St. Paul, where Mayor Chris Coleman announced three changes in response to a flood of citizen complaints about icy streets, FOX 9 reports.

Coleman says the city has increased the amount of sand and salt it's putting on streets; is speeding up the purchase of new equipment; and has reassigned the manager of St. Paul's street maintenance program.

The Pioneer Press reports the new limit on sand and salt doubles what crews had been using under previous guidelines. The newspaper says $2 million worth of new equipment will include an increase in sanding trucks, which grind snow and ice from roads.

The moves come after many residents used social media over the weekend to vent their frustration with icy intersections and washboard streets. The city treated streets in advance of last week's storm. But the brine they used was washed away by rain, which turned to ice as the temperature fell, and was locked in place by the below-zero temperatures since then.

Spokesman Joe Campbell tells the Star Tribune Mayor Coleman "got the message that we need to do this better."

The ousted leader of the street maintenance program, Kevin Nelson, was contacted by MPR. The network reports Nelson responded with an email that included a compliment to the commitment of the street maintenance staff and wished them the best.


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