Home Front end City clears piles of snow as they catch up with wintry weather | News

City clears piles of snow as they catch up with wintry weather | News

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Those who watched the 2022 Winter Olympics saw athletes competing on piles of artificial snow.

Although Titusville is not hosting any winter sports competitions, until Thursday they had the venues to do so.

The City has hired trucks to remove piles of snow from three city snow dump sites and hopes that once the snow dump sites are cleared, they can finally clear the downtown sidewalks for good.

With the amount of snow the town has received over the past month, they needed a place to put it. The City used three lots, two owned by the City and one owned by a local business owner, to stockpile snow that had been cleared from downtown roads and streets.

Snow collection sites were located in the green spaces of Diamond Park, the site of the future David L. Weber Memorial Garden, and Titusville Iron Works.

With snow piles at the dump sites reaching nearly 20 feet, the City hired three local companies to help clear the snow from the downtown core and deliver it to a location near the sewage treatment plant.

Public Works Director Chris Roofner told the Herald that around 150 trucks were needed to clear the dump sites.

When a break in the snowy weather presented itself, Roofner wanted to clear the snow as quickly as possible. With flooding on the minds of area residents after Church Run wreaked havoc on the city in July, Roofner said those large piles are not flood issues.

“With so much snow, it cannot melt fast enough to pose a flood risk. The problem is garbage,” he said.

When you have large piles of buried snow, there is a lot of trash and debris picked up during snow removal.

“When that snow melts, you’d be surprised how much trash, salt and gravel it leaves behind,” Roofner said.

If he were to melt naturally, Roofner said it wouldn’t surprise him if he had to wait until June to go away.

Although this is normally standard practice for the City, the absence of harsh winters has led to seven consecutive years where the Public Works Department has not had to clear the City of snow in this manner.

“It’s been so long since I think people have forgotten what we need to do,” Roofner said.

Roofner said the standard process is that after a heavy snowfall, city crews go out and plow the roads to open traffic. This work can continue all day, as long as the snow continues to fall.

Once the snow has stopped, the municipal teams get to work between 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. to clear the streets and sidewalks of the snow that has accumulated. This snow is then transported to the deposit sites. This allows crews to work faster and more efficiently, where equipment doesn’t have to wait.

This year, Roofner and his team had an advantage they don’t usually have, nearby undeveloped land. Roofner said the empty lots, which will be turned into a garden and a park, allowed the City to use all of its machines at once.

Usually they have the smallest equipment, the skid steer loaders, pick up the snow in the middle of the roads, then run the big front end loader through and haul it.

With drop off sites nearby, skid steer loaders could continue to clean the streets, knowing that the front loader would soon be back. In previous years, they had to wait for the big equipment to get to where the snow was being dumped, which for big machines can take a while.

Roofner described it as a broom and dustpan. The dump sites acted like a dustpan. Instead of running a single broom and putting it in the trash, drop-off sites let the brooms do all the work at once, allowing the City to use front-end loaders and dump trucks in same time.

“By batching the snow, we were able to load for 16 hours straight,” Roofner said.

Not only did this save the City time, it also saved money. Since contracted trucks are paid by the hour, the more you can load at the same time, the less the City has to pay contractors.

According to City Manager Neil Fratus, the City injects $2,500 annually into the budget for snow removal. Fratus said this year’s withdrawal will cost the city a little more than the $2,500, but not having to pay for the last seven years “always gives us a head start.”

Now that the city’s drop sites are clear, Roofner and his team will start over from square one.

The public works department will now take out the skid steer loaders again to clear city sidewalks and clear accumulations, before placing them again in the three empty lots.

“Our goal is to open up and clear downtown so city residents can park and walk around freely without having to avoid snow and ice,” Fratus said.

He said he was pleased with the work done by the public works department over the past month and noted that Titusville, unlike other towns in the region, has not had to close streets or limit parking. to get the snow out of town.

Dvorkin can be contacted by email at [email protected]