Archive for Thursday, January 14, 2010

City mulls snow removal practices

January 14, 2010

In the aftermath of the snowstorms the hit the area, the city of Eudora is analyzing it’s snow removal practices.

After the Christmas Eve storm, it took four days to remove the snow from city streets at a cost of $2,500 in overtime because many of the city workers were out of town for the holidays. The department was down to four employees doing work that usually is done by a crew of eight.

Streets foreman Steve Reetz said the city used about 200 tons of salt-sand mix at a total cost of about $7,000. The city gets the mixture through a contract with the city of Lawrence and Douglas County.

“I think the citizens will be happy to know that is well within our budget for both 2009 and 2010,” Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein said.

Public Works superintendent Delbert Breithaupt said the high winds that accompanied the storms twice erased the work they had done during the prior day.

“Christmas Eve, we’d done really good and we were in good shape,” he said. “But what did it do that night? We got hit with 30 mile an hour winds and we came in the next morning and (it looked like) we hadn’t done anything.”

The city’s current plowing policy is to treat streets with salt and sand when snow accumulations are two inches or less. When snow accumulations reach more than that, city crews begin plowing.

Five trucks go out to an assigned area, each with a priority route. Douglas County is responsible for County Road 1061, also known as Church Street; Main Street; and County Road 442, also known as 10th Street. Cul-de-sac’s are the last to be plowed.

The crew also takes into account any dangerous curves and hills.

Reetz also said there was some concern about flooding from showers and warmer temperatures, which are in the forecast for the middle of next week.

“It’s a priority to try to push the snow back to the sidewalks in residential areas because if we get rain and the snow starts melting, the water has got to get to the storm drains,” Reetz said.

Though no definite plans have been made to change any of the snow removal practices, Reetz, Breithaupt and Harrenstein could make suggestions to the council at future meetings.

The next step for street crews is to fill the inevitable potholes that come with this type of weather.

“If people see holes (in the streets), they need to call in to 542-3100 and to let us know.”

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