New snow removal plan makes residents angry
Fri, 21 Jan 2011 03:01:09 GMT —
Mid-Missouri spent the day digging out.
But in one county, residents are upset about the road crew's snow removal policy.
Thursday our Fact-Finder Team met with the Callaway County commissioner to learn about the new policy, which is not even a month old.
Snow covered Callaway County roads Wednesday night and into Thursday.
"The roads are slick. It TMs messy out there and the snow is coming down real hard, Callaway County resident T.J. Gibson said. It TMs just a mess."
When the snowfall stopped Thursday morning, the county got upwards of nine inches, and that's when Callaway County road crews started plowing.
"You know a lot of people don't work 8 p.m. to 4 p.m. There are night shifts and there's evening shifts, Tow Pro Owner Eddie Stafford said. The world goes on 24 hours a day, and if it's snowing at night we need to get the roads clear."
The shift in the snow-plowing schedule is all because of a new policy.
It said," The county will not dispatch plows until after the snowfall has stopped; Except: when conditions allow reasonable accomplishments to be made, or in an emergency, or other special circumstances.
"We don't have the staff and the resources for a 24 hour snow removal, Callaway County Highway Administrator Paul Winkelmann said.
Tow Pro owner Eddie Stafford thinks the county should look into a different policy because, Wednesday night he said everyone was getting stuck, even his tow trucks.
"We had fire trucks stuck, we had people stuck, the roads blocked, and we couldn't get out our place even with chains on our wreckers for 2 hours Wednesday night, Stafford said.
The policy also said," The county will perform snow removal operations when accumulation exceeds two inches or when icy conditions seriously affect travel."
The county commissioner told KRCG that's because snow plows can't really plow snow when there are fewer than 2 inches on the roads.
"We really wanted to prevent us going out when there's a half inch of snow on the ground. People expect us to plow that off; you can't plow snow when it's a half inch, Callaway County Commissioner Gabe Craighead said. So we set a limit of the amount of snow that has to be on the ground before we start bringing the people in to start plowing."
Craighead said he thinks the new policy is working great.
But not everyone in Callaway County thinks he is right.
"We TMre a class A county and it's sad we can't even get our roads plowed, Stafford said.
If you would like to read the Snow Removal plan please scroll down.
ROAD & BRIDGE DEPARTMENT
Snow Removal and Ice Control Policy
November 2010PURPOSE: The following Policy has been established to provide guidelines for the public and for plow operators to follow in order to ensure consistent practices for snow and ice removal during winter storm events. Our goal is to have all County Roads passable within a reasonable amount of time after a snowfall has stopped. Our plowing priorities reflect a commitment to insuring that key roads are kept open to serve critical facilities and to provide access between state highways and our communities. This policy is designed to provide the best service possible, but residents should have realistic expectations. Unpredictable weather conditions and limited financial resources make it impossible to ensure absolutely safe roads. Even with the best service, driving conditions may be hazardous in the winter months, Icing bridges, snow packed roads and snow drifting onto roads are expected aspects of winter travel and drivers should be prepared and drive defensively. BACKGROUND: Callaway County maintains approximately 820 miles of County Roads. Snow removal operations are accomplished with mounted plows with cinder spreaders and motor graders. The number and types of equipment used in snow removal operations may change over time due to budget restrictions. In order to reasonably meet the Public TMs expectations; the following Policy will apply. BASIS OF POLICY: DISPATCHING OF SNOW PLOWS - The decision to plow and/or cinder will be made by the County Highway Administrator and/or Road & Bridge Foreman based on the following guidelines:
- The County will not dispatch plows until after the snowfall has stopped; EXCEPT: (a) when conditions allow reasonable accomplishments to be made, or (b) in an emergency or other special circumstances.
- The County will perform snow removal operations when accumulations exceed two (2) inches.
- The County will perform ice control measures when icy conditions seriously affect travel.
- Make the roads passable. Clean one lane in each direction. The County will perform cinder operations at problem areas, including curves, hills and intersections. The County does not assure a completely bare road and will not cinder entire sections of roadway. Users of the highway system are reminded to exercise caution and drive with care.
- Clean up. Remove ice and slush off roadway after the cinders and sun have been allowed to work.
- Major County Highways which carry heavy traffic volumes.
- Medium volume County roads that serve as mail and/or school bus routes and provide access for numerous rural residents.
- Low volume County roads that may serve as mail and/or school bus routes but serve few rural residents.