Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow Removal in City of Jerome

Snowstorms pose challenges for Jerome drivers, as current policy allows snow to accumulate up to three inches prior to city plow crews being called out. Main routes are always plowed and sanded first, followed by arterial and collector streets. Only after the most critical and highly traveled roads are plowed and sanded can city crews begin plowing residential streets. Often we hear complaints from residents when their streets are not plowed immediately after a snow storm. While we understand this can be frustrating, the City must clear the main thoroughfares first, such as Main and Lincoln Streets, to ensure these well traveled roads are safe and passable.

Depending upon the amount of snow-fall, it may take more than 76 hours for the intial plowing to be completed. City crews may not operate equipment beyond the limits of fatigue and safety.

Side street clean-up is sometimes not completed until the second day following a large snowfall. Business area sidewalks and parking lot cleanup is the responsibility of the property owners. Residential and business parking should be as far out of the right of way as possible so that snow removal can be done in an efficient and safe manner. Even after the weather clears and the plowing is completed, city crews must then begin removing piles of snow that have accumulated in streets and corners.

It is always a pleasure in the morning to find the streets cleared of snow, and the snow hauled off of Main Street. Unfortunately, along with that, residents often find their driveways filled with snow. City crews are unable to clean driveways for private residents and pushing, blowing, or plowing snow back into the street after city plows have gone by poses a danger to motorists by causing ice build-up onto the street.

More than a dozen pieces of heavy equipment are needed to clear snow from Jerome’s streets, such as plows, backhoes, sanders, graders, and other equipment. With the large snowstorm in November, the City spent $43,608 in snow removal which includes 1564 man-hours at a cost of $23,463. Equipment costs have totaled approximately $10,255 (fuel, supplies, and repairs to equipment) with 230 tons of sand/salt distributed totaling $3,890.

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