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Pizza chain awards Rexburg $25,000 grant for snowplowing efforts

Courtesy Domino’s
IDAHO FALLS – Rexburg is one of 20 cities across the U.S. selected for a grant to help with plowing snow.
In December, Domino’s launched its Plowing for Pizza initiative, which provides $500,000 to be divided among the top 20 most nominated cities with a Domino’s in close proximity.
“Domino’s believes nothing should get in the way of hot pizza, and that’s why a pizza company is helping to plow roads across the country,” Domino’s spokeswoman Katelyn McQuillan writes in an email to
When the nomination period closed earlier this month, Rexburg was the fifth-highest on the list and was offered $25,000.
McQuillan confirms Mayor Jerry Merrill has accepted the grant, and the check is expected to arrive next week.
“Though it’s awarded for snowplowing efforts, it’s up to them how they want to allocate that — whether it’s for specific equipment or anything (along those lines),” McQuillan says.
Included with the award is a kit with hats, scarves and winter gear for snowplow drivers, along with a snow-measuring stick, road sign, vehicle magnet and $200 in Domino’s gift cards.

Road sign from Domino’s Plowing for Pizza asset kit | Courtesy Domino’s
Merrill says plowing the roads is a significant financial burden for the city. It costs about $25,000 to plow all the streets, and there isn’t enough equipment and manpower to do it on their own. Merrill says hiring full-time employees to do it would cost even more money, so they pay contractors to do it.
The grant funds will save the city money during the next major snowstorm, he says.
“It’ll give us that much more money to use to patch potholes and other repairs that are needed once the snow melts,” Merrill says.
Plowing the roads is challenging in other ways as well. Depending on the amount of snowfall, Merrill says it takes between 10 and 12 hours to plow every street.
The main roads with the most traffic are always the priority, followed by the residential streets.
“It’s dangerous for the plows to be on the major roads during the day because of all the traffic,” he says. “That’s when we’ve had most of our accidents, so we try to avoid that as much as possible.”
But no matter how you do it, it’s usually a “no-win scenario.”
“If we plow, we get complaints that we’re putting snow in people’s driveways, and if we don’t plow, we get complaints that there’s too much snow on the road,” says Merrill. “We try to just plow enough that it makes the roads passable. We don’t plow every bit of snow and slush off the roads, mainly because of the cost.”
Though the city puts a salt-sand mix along hillsides and intersections to help melt the ice, Merrill says it’s not feasible to put it everywhere, nor is it needed.
Figuring out how to balance the cost is an ongoing conversation. Merrill says having the ability to do a thorough job of plowing would be ideal for safety reasons, but eventually the snow melts, and there isn’t anything tangible to show for it.
Road repairs are always needed during the summer, which is why the city works to save money during the winter.
Merrill is grateful Rexburg was nominated for this grant, and he’s excited to put it to use.
“Anytime we have something that saves taxpayer money, we’re always excited about that,” he says.
Domino’s provided a similar grant in 2018 for cities to do road paving projects. Rexburg received a $5,000 grant at that time.
RELATED | Domino’s Pizza to help fix Rexburg roads
Other cities that have accepted snowplowing grants include:

Norwood, Massachusetts
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Erie, Pennsylvania
Manhattan, Montana
Marquette, Michigan

The post Pizza chain awards Rexburg $25,000 grant for snowplowing efforts appeared first on East Idaho News.

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