Upper Arlington News

Arctic blast challenges planned UA city services, programs


The arrival of extreme cold in central Ohio this week delayed some Upper Arlington city services, cancelled programs and kept crews scrambling to keep roads clear of ice.

Upper Arlington schools were closed Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 6 and 7, due to subzero temperatures, and the Upper Arlington Senior Center remained closed as of ThisWeek's press time Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of morning activities and lunch.

City officials also announced Monday that Inland Services Corp. had decided to delay refuse, recycling and yard waste pickup by at least two days, and the Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department cancelled all programming at local schools Monday night and morning classes on Tuesday.

Dan Kochensparger, public information officer for the Upper Arlington Fire Division, said local firefighters felt fortunate that they hadn't seen a spike in emergency calls due to the inclement weather.

"We have actually been running on calls we would get any time of the year," he said. "It's just been some of those things we would expect any time."

Two exceptions were water main breaks Monday.

One occurred at the Arlington Crossing condominiums in the 3100 block of Tremont Road, and Kochensparger said Upper Arlington crews assisted Columbus firefighters in responding to a water main break at The Quarry apartment complex west of Upper Arlington.

City offices were kept open on Monday and Tuesday, but a spokeswoman for the city said officials were closely monitoring temperatures in order to balance worker safety with municipal business.

"City offices are and will remain open for business today and tomorrow," Emma Speight, Upper Arlington community affairs director said Monday. "Decisions to delay offices opening, to stay closed -- except for essential personnel -- or to close early are dependent on extreme weather conditions that impact the safety of employees getting to and from work."

Public services workers for the city have been pretreating roadways and spreading rock salt.

Despite a minimal amount of snow, the crews were combating ice and had used approximately 120 tons of the city's 800-ton salt supply from Sunday through Tuesday morning, according to Upper Arlington Public Services Manager Buddy Caplinger.

Caplinger added that public services staff had worked 78 hours -- including 56 hours of overtime -- from Sunday through Tuesday morning, and had accumulated $2,775 in overtime costs, $1,855 in equipment expenses and used the equivalent of $7,072 in salt supplies.