Winter storms, water line breaks translate to lots of overtime hours

If you think its been an unusually long and messy winter, put yourself in John Moyers shoes.

Man, its been a long winter, Moyer, Vandalias director of public works, said on Wednesday morning, as he and his crew were taking a short break after dealing with the latest winter storm.

This past weekend, I think, was the first weekend that we didnt have something, Moyer said.

Its not only the snow, he said. Weve had a lot of water line breaks.

With the latest winter storm, Moyer began sending crews out at 4 a.m. on Tuesday to begin laying down salt.

The problem with this weeks storm was the amount of snow that it brought.

It was just enough snow that you could hardly plow, he said. With that small amount of snow, if you plow, youll tear up the rubber blades (on the snow plows), and that gets expensive really quick.

Moyer let the salt and traffic flow do what they could to get rid of what was on the streets, then sent snow plows and salt trucks out after the storm died out on Tuesday night.

City workers were out until about midnight on Tuesday, then started picking up snow on Wednesday as the salt and sunshine helped clear the roads.

Between the winter storms and water line breaks, Moyer has had city workers out numerous times on nights and weekends.

He estimates that his departments overtime hours are up about 25 percent this year.

The overtime expense is not the only thing that Moyer is thinking about as he anxiously awaits the arrival of spring.

We cant get any more salt, he said.

The city started out with about 400 tons of salt and had 450 more tons available.

Ive got probably 100 tons left.

When it comes to measuring overtime hours and salt used, it matters not whether a winter storm is big or small.

With the smaller storms, you still have to salt just as much, he said, noting that the city workers have to cover 75-80 miles of streets.

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