Westerville News & Public Opinion

City stocked with salt, ready for winter weather


Despite 60-degree temperatures over the weekend, and some forecasts for another mild winter, Westerville is well-prepared for any winter weather that could strike this season.

"I don't put a whole lot of stock into what is predicted," said Westerville Service Department Director Frank Wiseman. "It really didn't affect us. It what happens on a day-to-day basis. It's what happens tomorrow. We deal with what happens on a day-to-day basis."

Last year, incidentally, AccuWeather predicted a harsh winter, Wiseman said, but the mild winter Westerville enjoyed instead left the city well-prepared for any snow or ice that will fall this year.

The city used little of its salt reserves due to last year's mild winter, but to meet contractual obligations, more salt had to be purchased this year.

The city has 4,000 tons of salt in storage now, said service department manager Frank Wiseman. In a typical season, the city uses an average of 6,000 tons of salt.

"We're doing fine. We're ready for the season and have a good supply on hand," Wiseman said.

The salt surplus comes at a good time for the city. It would have exceeded the storage capacity of the city's old 2,000-ton-capacity salt barn, but leaves room to spare in the recently completed 7,000-ton-capacity salt barn at the Public Service Department facility on Park Meadow Road, Wiseman said.

"We were already designing a new storage facility for salt," Wiseman said. "Once it was completed, we had ample storage for the salt we had on hand."

The city's truck fleet also is geared up for winter weather, Wiseman said. The leaf-collection boxes remain on some of the trucks now, Wiseman said, but plows can be quickly fitted should snow hit.

"We have all of our equipment in order, prepared and ready to go," Wiseman said.

When snow does begin to accumulate on the city streets, Wiseman said, he would remind residents that moving cars from the streets will help the city to remove snow more quickly and effectively.

"One of our biggest obstacles in removing snow is vehicles parked on the streets," Wiseman said. "If the residents could have vehicles removed from the streets, when practical, that would help us a lot."

A city ordinance does require that vehicles be removed from the streets if more than 3 inches of snow accumulates.