Olentangy Valley News

Powell keeps up with incessant winter

City's salt use on pace to top average

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKNEWS
Snow falls on the Four Corners during a January storm. Downtown Powell was the focus of a storm of controversy in 2014 as apartment and condominium developers strove to build there.

Powell residents who think this winter has been colder and snowier than the past few have the numbers on their side.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said city crews had used about 1,000 tons of salt on icy roadways this winter through Monday, Jan. 6. She said the city typically uses a little more than 1,200 tons for an entire winter.

"We believe if the winter conditions continue in the direction they're going, we'll definitely exceed the average," Canavan said.

According to city records, workers spread 1,176 tons of salt in city during the winter of 2012-13 and 505 tons in the mild winter of 2011-12. The city used more than 1,400 tons in each of the three preceding winters.

While Powell officials are prepared for more snow this winter, the city likely will not see it this weekend.

Subzero temperatures hit central Ohio earlier this week, but the National Weather Service's forecast was for higher-than-average temperatures with a chance of rain in the city this weekend.

Canavan said the city had spent $35,075 on salt and about $5,000 on overtime for snowplow drivers as of Jan. 6.

She said the city ordered 270 tons of salt Friday, Jan. 3, noting the city typically keeps about 250 tons on hand at a facility in Adventure Park.

At its last meeting of the year Dec. 17, Powell City Council appropriated an additional $25,000 to the street maintenance and repair fund for the purpose of snow and ice removal. The city already had spent more than $22,000 on snow removal by mid-December.

Although the low temperatures Jan. 6 and 7 led Olentangy Local Schools and many other central Ohio districts to cancel classes, Canavan said the weather did not disrupt any city services. The city did offer residents tips on how to stay safe as the temperature dipped below zero.

"We've shared some helpful reminders from (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) on our website and social media sites," Canavan said.

She said residents should pile snow to the right of their driveways when shoveling and avoid parking on city streets during snow advisories.

The city does not have an employee assigned to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, she said. A 2009 ordinance put the responsibility of keeping all sidewalks "reasonably clean of snow and ice" on the owner of the property adjacent to the sidewalk.

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