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Public works prepares city for snow

October 9, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

As temperatures continue to drop, Marshalltown Public Works employees are thinking ahead to winter.

The city has already begun mounting plows and sanders on city trucks and preparing city workers to make the transition from mowing to snow removal, said Lynn Couch, public works director. Workers have also begun winterizing smaller equipment.

"We are ready to go at this point," Couch said. "It's just a matter of waiting on the weather."

Article Photos

In preparation for the upcoming winter months, city workers have already affixed plows to city trucks, like this one shown in this file photo. Because of last year’s mild winter, the city did not need to order any salt for the upcoming winter season.

Each year, the city spends $135,000 on salt to keep snow from overburdening citizens. In 2011 however, the city didn't need to use any of the salt it had bought from the previous year, Couch said.

Couch said the city keeps a small cache of salt in the Public Works Grandstand Building, but, because of the notably mild winter, he said in 2011 the city didn't use that much.

Typically, the city orders the salt in the spring. It comes in from Kansas before being shipped in a boxcar from Ames. However, this year, the city didn't need to purchase any salt.

The money the city saves on salt stays in the road use tax fund to be used for other road-related projects, according to the road-use tax financial report.

Couch said the city still has 3,000 tons of salt in storage.

"It's quiet enough to last us through any winter we have had in the last five (years)," he said. "We are ready for snow at this point."



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