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Town Council hears update on snow storm impact

By CALVIN PYNN

calvin@southwesttimes.com

 

Last week’s winter storm was discussed at Tuesday night’s Town Council work session, as Town Engineer Bill Pedigo gave an update on how the mass amounts of snow impacted town operations.

According to Pedigo, the recent snow event saw a combined 511 hours of work. While the plow trucks were working to clear the roads, he said that one truck wrecked and could still be repaired, while another plow truck was totaled, considering it was an older model.

“Stuff happens, we try to be as careful as we can, but it was running in slick, deep snow,” said Pedigo.

He also said that salt sprayed on the roads was used sparingly, due to a nationwide shortage. The Town has enough brine for one more major snow event, which Pedigo said could get them out out of the bad season, and then later restock.

“We have a good salt house, and we can restock a lot during the summer,” said Pedigo. “The money we’ve spent on a new salt house is really paying off.”

According to Mayor Jeff Worrell, a big problem with this particular storm was that there was snow much snow that The Town didn’t know where to put it. Pedigo added that the snow was deeper than what the current plow drivers have experience moving.

“It’s different to push, it reacts differently, it kind of got ahead of them a little bit,” said Pedigo.

Still, despite the overwhelming circumstances caused by the snow storm, the council all agreed that the town’s plow drivers did an excellent job moving the mass amounts of snow last week.

For the future, council member Joseph Goodman suggested that The Town should work with some private contractors to supplement their resources and get every road plowed in time.

Goodman also suggested that The Town should send their drivers to ride with plow drivers in areas that expect heavy snow on a regular basis for some on the job training, such as parts of West Virginia. Town manager Shawn Utt added that he could reach out to his peers in ICMA to see if there would be any interest for such training in northern areas.

Council member Jamie Radcliffe also suggested that some equipment upgrades could probably be needed in preparation for future snow events, particularly in replacing the scrapers on the trucks.

Chris Phillips, the street superintendent for the Department of Public Works in the Town of Pulaski, was awarded the employee of the month award for February. He was recognized for his work during last week’s winter storm, which was the largest snowfall Phillips had been responsible for in his three and a half years as street superintendent.

As Mayor Worrell present the award, he praised Phillips for his department’s conservative use of salt due to the shortage, as well has the long hours he and the rest of his crew put in to clear the snow from the streets. While the whole department was praised for their hard work teamwork, Phillips was recognized for his leadership and dedication throughout the winter storm.

Other items discussed during the work session included a presentation from Sam Sweeney, who works with the New River Trail State Park, as well as a comprehensive review of debts and finances from Davenport and Associates.

Comments

comments

11 Responses to Town Council hears update on snow storm impact

  1. Whole E Cow

    February 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I drove into Pulaski on Thurs. midday and was dumbfounded at the non-responce of the snow plowing efforts in the town. I have had years of experience in snow removal, and there is no reason the roads in Pulaski should have been in the poor state they were in that day. We pushed snow and shook salt till the roads were black asphalt, and quickly. Yes there was a fair amount of snow, but being without equipment is a big no-no. The trucks that had problems should have spares in waiting. Taxpayers of the Town of Pulaski deserve better. It is very apparent there is no one in charge of the towns fleet maint. Better prep means better service. As for the trucks that crashed, put snow chains on, problem solved. Snow removal needs a lot of planning, there seems to be very little. I am sure Mr. Utt will quickly solve the lack of prep. and planning issues.

    • Moola

      February 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      With every politician running on a platform of cutting taxes or not raising taxes where does the money come from to maintain that fleet. The guys that service and run those trucks work their butts off in all kinds of conditions and they are asked to do so on a shoe string budget. You want new trucks, walk into a council meeting and ask them to raise your taxes so you can have the services you want. There is no fluff or extra money laying around that will magically appear. The towns infrastructure is aging but that’s not all the town employees fault. Mr. Utt has inherited this problem and he is not the one that gets to approve the final budget.

    • Anonymous

      February 21, 2014 at 9:03 am

      This sounds alot like a disgruntled retired city of radford employee???????

    • Will

      February 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      That’s funny. My street was clear. On this side of town the only bad roads were the roads that people decided to go four-wheeling on and packed it to ice. Nothing easily gets that up.

  2. Voting citizen

    February 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Wow, wonder where Mr. Goodman was when the snow hit? Probably sitting in his nice warm house watching the snow fall…certainly not out trying to clean the streets with worn out equipment and not enough salt. Give kudos where kudos are due..they do a great job with what they have to do with. Instead of our tax payer money going for more police cars than we have police officers, let’s look at getting our town on track to be able to take care of it’s citizens.

  3. wanda henley

    February 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    It sounds like to me Mr.Goodman needs to take a ride in one of the trucks next time it snows. If he thinks he can do a better job, then hand him the keys to the truck! These guys get out all hours of the night or day and scrape and try to get the roads clear, but there is always someone to critize the workers. I bet no one ever thanks the town crew for the job they do! Next time Mr.Goodman, you are all snug and warm and cozy in your home; think about the town crew out freezing their butts off to get the roads clear for you to come out!!!

  4. Whole E Cow

    February 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Moola, Go to a town meeting and ask why they spend large amounts of money on things that mean nothing to very core operations of the town. The transportation museum and ballpark are just two things that come to mind. Someone in town council needs to stand up and tell them we must pay for services before we go out to play. The state of the economy is so bad at this time they must pay only to just keep the town up and running, not whirl wind bull butter. Some common sence would be nice about right now, or maybe make changes to the town council to people that will pay for just the bare bones and wait another day to put money in snake holes. So take all the snake hole money and put it to good use in the dire issues at hand now. I am positive they will rise taxes in the town to keep there pet snake holes full of money. They will justify this with some silly statement about providing services, fact is, it will go down the snake holes. This will not change till the people start paying attention to where there money goes. Voters of Pulaski, take your town back before you do not have one.

    • Will

      February 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      “The transportation museum and ballpark are just two things that come to mind.”

      Just because they mean nothing to you does not mean that the whole town feels the same.

  5. Jane

    February 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Perhaps Mr. Goodman is aka Mr. Nick Donaldson, Sr who feels he can do everything better and makes fun of the ones that work hard for the town and county. Maybe he should leave his school maintenance job and work on the roads of Pulaski.

  6. another voting citizen

    February 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I assume that Joseph Goodman , being up for reelection this year thought that if he could make negative remarks about a whole town department (public works) he would get a few votes from the few citizens he got a complaint from. Its amazing to me how people in this town along with this country have gotten so dependent on the government or some other agency to do everything for them that one snow could have a elected official bow down to a few citizens for a few votes he may or may not get.I would like to know what Public works thinks of the comments that the elected official had to say.

  7. anonymous town employee

    February 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Excuse me Mr whole e cow the truck had snow chains on it when it wrecked so next time you post comments on articles you should know what you are talking about before you start typing on stuff you have no clue about

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