Snow Plowing 101

I just heard the weather forecast and it looks like we may finally get some snow that we can measure.  With that thought in mind, I decided that it was a good time to remind everyone that parks on the street, you need to have your vehicle off the street anytime the snow fall exceeds 2”, until the street has been plowed.  Kind of a common sense rule in my book.  It allows us to get things cleaned up in a timely fashion, which in turn saves money.

As long as we are on the subject of plowing, it may be a good time to explain just how we plow snow.  Basically, the Department of Public Works (DPW) has different routes set up around the entire town.  Each driver has his area of responsibility.  In any given area, we go after the main roads first, followed by the secondary roads and then the dead ends, cul-de-sacs and alleys last.  If possible, the guys try to wait until the snow is over before they start to plow, but every event is different.  We also like to start plowing very early in the morning, so we have less traffic to contend with.  You will hear the plow go by from the warmth of your bed.  Once everything is plowed, the last thing we do is apply salt.  At $50-$60 per ton, we use good judgment as to how much and where we apply salt.  Certain intersections and dangerous areas will get more than other areas.  Please keep in mind that salt only works until the temperature gets down in the low teens.

Depending on the amount of snow we get, the very last thing we do is push the corners back and then clean up the downtown area, so that parking is better along Main Street and the piles of snow along the curb are removed for better pedestrian access.  With narrow sidewalks along the back of the curb in the downtown area, heavy snows can be a problem for the downtown.  We monitor the situation and take appropriate action and the business owners generally do a very good job of keeping their walks clear, and if there is a specific problem area, a simple call to the Village office will usually get the situation handled in short order.  I have personally plowed snow many times over the years and its fun for about the first hour and then it gets old in a hurry.  They usually give me the small trucks to use or the payloader.  They also usually assign me to do cul-de-sacs, alleys or parking lots.  I think that’s because no one like to do those areas, because they are difficult and time consuming.  Sometimes I go out when everyone else from DPW has gone home for rest.  I just try to keep the main roads open until the manpower is rested and return to work.  And that’s it for Snow Plowing 101!