Cassville deals with snowfall

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

City 36 percent through snow removal budget

The city of Cassville dealt with multiple winter weather events this week, but with the carry-over from last year's snow removal budget, the city is only halfway through its allotted expenditures.

Steve Walensky, public works director for the city of Cassville, said city crews began working on the streets at 11 a.m. Sunday, working until 7 p.m. to make sure streets were as safe as possible for travel.

"We are still in pretty good shape," he said. "We ordered more salt from the Missouri Farmers Association, and we picked up more stuff from the quarry, as well."

According to Walensky, the city has spent $1,082.78 of its $3,000 snow removal budget, not including a recent pallet of salt the city has bought at a cost of $250.

Walensky said the city has a set system in place for dealing with weather events, including a method of which areas to treat first and a pre-set schedule for who will be on call.

"We have two trucks that start with the high-volume streets, then go to all the hills," he said. "1st Street gets a lot of attention, and we had a few slide-offs there on [Sunday morning]. That's a difficult street to navigate because of that turn. Every situation is different, but our system has worked well for us."

Walensky said the city uses a mix of cinders and salt or limestone chips and salt to combat the slick streets. The minerals not only give better traction for travelers, but also help in melting the snow and ice after it stops falling.

He said they also pay close attention to emergency depots, such as the police department, fire department, sheriff's department and 911 station.

"We go there early on so if they need to get out on a call and help our residents, they can do that," he said.

Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief, said officers had to get out Sunday and respond to a number of accidents, including a pile-up on Vine Street and a couple slide-offs on 1st Street. Kammerlohr said the department did not deal with any snow-related accidents on Monday, and as of 11 a.m. Tuesday had not responded to any calls.

"We're attributing that to people staying home and learning to slow down," she said. "If you don't have to get out, stay home, because less people on the roads means less accidents. And, if you do have to get out, be very careful and make sure to have water, blankets, a good cell phone battery and a flashlight in the car. You can also keep cat litter in your trunk for traction purposes if need be."

Walensky said the Cassville Public Works Department is also staying vigilant for future storms, as Walensky said he pays close attention to numerous forecasts, comparing them to come up with the best plan of action.

"We watch forecasts from [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], Accuweather and Weather Underground, and we compare those forecasts to be prepared," he said. "We also stay tuned in to the area news channels to see what they're saying."

Walensky said he also responds to calls from residents as to where trouble spots arise. He said he also keeps communication with the police department when such weather occurs.

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