Are you glad this is a mild winter so far? You’re not alone.
“What a difference a year makes,” said city staff liaison Linda Mathews during the city of Delaware’s Public Works/Public Utilities Committee on Tuesday. “We have all the trucks serviced and ready to go, if we ever need them.”
So far they haven’t been needed this winter. But that may be about to change.
Weather forecasts suggest that snow is possible in the coming days. There is a potential rain/snow mix on Sunday, and snow showers on Tuesday.
The city’s pre-treating vehicles are also ready, and the city’s crews have produced more than 30,000 gallons of brine, she said. There’s also 3,200 tons of salt in the barn.
“Last year by this time, we had used 450 tons of material, had seven (snow) events, logged over 400 regular and overtime hours, at a cost of $55,000,” Mathews said.
Another difference this winter is in the cost of salt. For the winter of 2014-15, salt was $109 a ton; and for this winter, the salt cost $74 a ton, through a cooperative program with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The city is responsible for 305 miles of roadway, which it divides into three types, depending on the amount of travel and speed of the road. The highest-traveled, highest-speed arterial streets are the top priority; with the second priority being moderately traveled collector streets; and the lowest priority is the subdivision side streets, loop streets and cul-de-sacs.
The city’s “Snow & Ice Management Policy” booklet said that when there is less than three inches of snow, “Priority I and II roads can be maintained passable through a combination of pre-treatment applications, salting application and then plowing.” Priority III streets are generally not plowed when there is less than three inches of snowfall.
For more than three inches, “significant accumulations generally mean plows will not be able to address the local subdivision streets for a day or longer until all higher-priority streets are clear.” Priority I roads will be cleared within 12 hours of snow’s end.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office can declare snow emergencies. At Level 1, motorists should drive carefully; during Level 2, people should drive only if necessary; and on Level 3, roads are closed to non-emergency travel, and police may arrest motorists who don’t need to be on the road.
The city’s public works office is open until 10 p.m. during Level 2; and remains open continuously during Level 3. The office will take public inquiries and emergency calls at 740-203-1810.
Central Ohio averages 27 inches of annual snowfall, city officials said.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.