Danedri Thompson
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Winter is coming and the city of Gardner officials are ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at them, Public Works Director Brian Faust told the council.
“If you’ve researched winter weather predictions for our region, you’ll see that no one can agree,” Faust said. “Whatever happens our crews will be ready to work.”
When winter weather is in the forecast, Faust said city officials including those in public works, maintenance and electric, begin monitoring radar from multiple sources.
With less than two inches of snow, plowing is not required.
“Sometimes trucks will salt the slick parts in town,” Faust said.
Once flakes fly, city crews begin working in 12 hour, snow shifts. Using eight trucks, city staff clear 190 lane miles. Main thoroughfares and arterials are the city’s top priority in snow removal. Crews begin clearing main thoroughfares and arterials at first accumulation. They’ll continue to clear those roads through the snow event. Connector streets and mainline roads are second priority. Those roads will also be cleared continuously as snow falls.
Faust said complaints about when certain roads are cleared and how they’re cleared are some of the most common. City crews don’t begin clearing residential streets, given third priority, until after snow quits falling. Residents who live on cul-de-sacs, fourth priority, may not see city plows until 24-hours after snow fall.
“You may not see us for a day,” Faust said.
Another common complaint?
“Some of you have probably been plowed into your driveway,” Faust said.
He showed a chart suggesting a way to clear a driveway to help. He said it helps if snow cleared from driveways isn’t shoveled into the street.
However, he said, “We will get snow in your driveway.”
City officials request that citizens remove cars, basketball goals and other hazards from roadways prior to snow events. City code requires residents to remove snow from sidewalks abutting their property within 48 hours of a snowfall.
Faust also showed council a few pictures of public works outreach to residents. He said city plows have been featured at touch-a-truck events, and this year, three of the city’s eight plows were painted by art students at Moonlight and Grand Star Elementary Schools and Trail Ridge Middle School.