Town of Spider Lake in the news once again

Should our Town of Spider Lake be towing or plowing out residents?

At our last TOSL board meeting one of the issues addressed was the use of the town’s road crew to plow out our town Chairman from a snowmobile trail in Bayfield County. He had turned down an unplowed snowmobile trail at night and gotten stuck.

I certainly wouldn’t want any elderly couple stuck, at night, in the cold anywhere. But we have to make the policy of the use of town equipment, personnel and resources very clear going forward.

If calls can be made via cell service to Hayward, Cable and Spider Lake you can also reach 911. I spoke with the 911 personnel and they recognize being stuck late at night in freezing weather as being an emergency. They will either call a towing service for you or their emergency responders will get out to you.

Living “Up North” we should all keep our cell phones charged, have cold weather gear in our vehicles at all times. I try to have a winter kit in my truck that stays in there until spring, late spring.

Here’s the list of what you should have:

  1. Sturdy Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
  2. Small or Collapsible Snow Shovel
  3. Warm Gloves, Outerwear & Boots
  4. Blankets
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Cell Phone Charger
  7. Emergency Flares or Reflectors
  8. Rock Salt, Sand or Kitty Litter
  9. Flashlight
  10. Rope or Chain
  11. Jumper Cables
  12. Small Tool Kit
  13. Extra Windshield Washer Fluid
  14. Sunglasses
  15. Water and Non-perishable Snacks. I have snack packs of nuts and protein bars.

We do quite a bit of driving since my family lives in Minnesota. There are some long stretches where it would be a long walk to a house if we went off the road. I would be reluctant to approach someones home late at night.

So while I understand the fear of being stuck during a winter’s evening I don’t think our town road crew should be the ones going out on those calls. I say this for several reasons. 911 should be the first call you make. They know what tow and plowing companies service the area you are in. Those companies are licensed and insured for those activities. The call also makes them aware of where you are and can also dispatch emergency services if needed.

This policy needs to be reaffirmed at our next board meeting. Our road crews are not insured for towing and plowing of private citizens, even if they are the town chairman.

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