Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The numbers are in and they confirm what we already knew. This past winter was brutal.
Dan Merkh, Edgerton public works director, told the city council that the city experienced a total of 29.1 inches of snow accumulation, significantly higher that the 7.7 inches experienced in 2018.
He said that the consistency and amount of snow this year was more than anything the region had experienced since 2013.
Merkh said there were 17 notable winter events and that seven of them dropped more than two inches of snow, triggering mandatory car removals from city streets.
There were four winter events that consisted primarily of ice.
“City crews spent a lot of time plowing the streets and spreading salt,” he said, adding that the city spent 672 man-hours on winter weather work.
“Once a winter weather event started, city staff operated 24/7 until the event was cleaned up,” he said. “Crews split into 12 hour shifts, operating from 7-7. Each shift had three staff positions.”
According to Merhk, city crews cleared 2,301 lane miles throughout the winter and used 2,378 tons of salt.
He said the increase in precipitation caused a shortage of salt, and when Edgerton ran out of salt it had to rely on neighboring communities that had a surplus.
He said that although private residents were able to adjust quickly to winter weather events, owners and tenants at the logistics park faced some challenges including clearing snow from private parking lots and dumping it onto city streets.
He attributed the problems at the Logistics Park to the fact that most tenants have not experienced this much snow since moving to the park.
“Since the Parks inception, the majority of the development has not participated in this much winter,” he said.
He said the city has taken several initiatives that will place it in a better position to deal with future winter events including starting conversations with the sheriff’s department on the timely towing of cars parked on city streets. He said the department has also hired two additional staff members.
“The hiring of a marketing and communications manager will also help us in getting out the word to residents in the future. With a staff of six plow drivers and one code enforcer, the city provided an excellent level of service throughout the winter season,” he said.