City contends with significant snowfall
The first major winter storm of the season meant a day of vacation for students of USD 464 and a long day for city street crews.
City Administrator Mike Yanez said city crews started plowing streets Monday when the snow reached a depth of 2 inches, at which they could operate without harming streets or snowplows.
The snow removal continued into the evening and started again at 3 a.m. Tuesday, Yanez said.
“We start with the streets to the schools and the downtown area,” he said. “I’ve been out on city streets today (Monday) and was very pleased with what they’ve been doing.”
The snow stopped Tuesday morning, when a front with very cold temperatures and possible high winds was to make an appearance. Yanez said winds causing drifting proved troublesome last winter when crews found streets drifted shut soon after they were opened.
The street crews are good about managing overtime during storms, but the first priority was clearing streets, Yanez said.
“Realistically, we have to move snow before people start going to work,” he said. “Timing and length of storms determines how much overtime we have to use.
“We’re dedicated to keep the streets drivable. There are some cities that will tell their crews to go home to save overtime, but that’s not our attitude. We’ll make adjustments to other line items down the line as we can.”
Because purchases last summer, the city was well stocked with sand and salt to treat streets when the snow stopped falling and the streets cleared, Yanez said.
In addition to Tonganoxie public school and Genesis Christian Academy students, McLouth school district students and several others in the area did not have school Monday or Tuesday because of the weather.
The Tonganoxie City Council meeting was postponed from Monday to Tuesday and the school board rescheduled its Monday meeting for Thursday. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Tonganoxie High School library on the THS west campus.