City of Grand Island streets division prepares for winter months

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The City of Grand Island Streets and Transportation department staff was preparing for the winter a few months out. During the 2021 fiscal year, the street division went over their snow removal budget by around $25,000. The higher costs were caused by purchasing salt to ensure there was enough salt for the entirety of the winter.

Street Superintendent Shannon Callahan said they buy the salt during the warmer months when the prices are a bit lower.

Although the salt can be handy for removing snow and ice, Callahan said, older and high-traffic roads could lead to more potholes when compared to newer roads.

“Obviously, when the weather starts to change we will have more or we’ll have some that we’ll have to go back and fill up again, but we have a pretty good routine to try to keep up with most of them,” Callahan said. “And then some that get really bad if we can’t keep them filled up as long as we need to, we will take steps to fix them with something more permanent.”

Callahan added, two streets the city tended to see a pothole issue with were Highway 2 and South Locust Street. She said they hoped to resurface those two roads in the coming years.

For the 2022 fiscal year, Callahan noted, the city street department had moved the snow removal budget up by $14,500 more than the previous year’s.

Aside from the increased budgets to help make the snow removal process run smoother, she said having more people operating the plows could come in handy.

“I think any community you ask would probably say it’d be nice to have more,” she said. “I mean, you always want to do ... faster, you know, you want to get out faster and get more done quicker and you can only do that with snow removal with more people and more equipment.”

Callahan continued to say, though they could always use more help with removing snow and ice, she was confident in their crew at the time and the plans they had for the upcoming winter.

“I do feel like we take really good steps to be as ready as we can be as far as equipment, having everything organized and having our plan in place,” she said. “Kind of going through some of that process right now so, always a goal to kind of be ready by Halloween.”

COVID-19 had played a role with increasing prices of products and supplies around the nation, but Callahan said she hadn’t noticed a difference in salt prices for their snow removal trucks, but said her team had seen an issue ordering road supplies and receiving them in a timely manner.

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