Villages on top of snow, ice

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN/MP—Winter weather started locally just recently, but with a vengeance, so local Public Works employees already have put in a lot of work to keep the streets clear of snow and ice.

“We have logged 96 hours of plowing, used 31 tons of salt, and driven over 800 miles,” Elburn Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said Tuesday.

The village of Elburn has seven vehicles with snowplows. For whatever plowing and salting that is necessary, the village relies on six full-time public works employees and two more village staff members on an as-needed basis.

When snow falls or conditions become icy, the first streets they attend to are the main ones.

“We plow the main streets first, i.e. Prairie Valley, First and Third streets, South Street, North Street, Liberty, Patriot, Blackberry Creek Drive and Anderson Road (not an all-inclusive list),” Nevenhoven said. “We also focus on the areas around the schools.”

In Maple Park, Public Works Superintendent Eric Pinion is in charge of plowing and de-icing the village streets, with help from one other employee. Pinion starts plowing from the south side of the village and the other staffer begins on the north side.

“We meet in the middle,” Pinion said.

So far this season, they have spent about 26 hours behind the wheel of village trucks equipped with plows. Those include two pickups, and a 1-ton and an 8-ton truck for heavy snow.

Pinion said although the village has just two people to plow, they handled the big snowstorm last week fairly well, since the bad weather did not last long.

“It was a heavy snow to move. Fortunately, we had a melting right afterward,” he said.

Both villages’ plowing vehicles are equipped for spreading salt. Nevenhoven and Pinion said salt is in good supply this year, and they do not anticipate any shortages. The village of Elburn budgeted $25,000 for road salt this winter season. Pinion said Maple Park does not designate a certain budget amount for road salt, but village officials always approve any salt expenditure that is necessary.

Photo courtesy Stock.sxc.hu