Tri-Village News

City plows tame relentless winter onslaught of snow

Salt use higher this year as city crews wait for spring warmth


Most everyone is getting sick and tired of the snowy winter -- especially Grandview Heights Street Supervisor Steve McKnight.

"I'm looking forward to spring," McKnight said. "It's been a busy winter."

The city has used about 400 tons of salt treating roadways in Grandview and Marble Cliff this winter -- far more than in recent years.

"We've had some mild winters in the past few years, so I guess it was time to pay the piper," McKnight said.

Grandview started the season with a full bin of 500 tons of salt, he said.

"I fill up the bin every year before winter," McKnight said.

With about 100 tons left, McKnight has ordered another 200 tons that should arrive later this week or next.

"We are part of a consortium that purchases salt together. Several central Ohio communities are part of it," McKnight said. "It lowers the cost of the salt and it also makes it easier to get salt when we run low."

Crews are sent out when falling snow begins to make roads slick, he said. Police officers report on the road conditions and the on-duty sergeant determines when to call the service department crews.

"We generally have three trucks out there at any time, but I have up to 17 or 18 guys total I can draw on," McKnight said.

The first priority is to clear the main roads that carry the heaviest flow of traffic. School zones are addressed next, then residential streets.

Residents can help crews by moving their cars off streets to allow plows a clear path, McKnight said.

"If your car's off the street, we can plow all the way to the curb so you will be able to park right up to the curb," he said.

The mayor can call a snow emergency when four or more inches has fallen. Cars must be removed from the street during a snow emergency.

"We're out there getting the streets done as fast as we can," McKnight said.

"I don't think people always realize how hard our crews work," he said. "They're out there for eight or 10 hours at a time, but then they have to come back and work on the trucks. We do our own maintenance work and you got to keep at them to avoid corrosion."