BG prepares for next wave of snow PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 10:47
With predictions of snowfall ranging between six and 10 inches by Wednesday afternoon, Bowling Green officials talked openly Monday night about declaring a "preemptive" snow emergency in order to get vehicles off designated snow streets.
"The city is always somewhat hesitant, but sometime after 2 p.m. Tuesday, long before the first flake is supposed to fall, the city will likely act to get vehicles off snow streets," Municipal Administrator John Fawcett told city council.
When declared, the snow emergency gives those with vehicles parked on snow streets two hours to remove them or face a tow or ticket. There were 11 vehicles towed and 19 tickets issued Sunday during an eight-hour snow emergency.
Fawcett said the timing will depend on updates today from the National Weather Service as to when the storm is expected to begin.
"With predictions of six to 10 inches of snow, we have to take things seriously," Fawcett said. The city already uses the media, social media, email and its website to spread the word and may also take the unusual step of using police cruisers equipped with loudspeakers to drive through neighbors and announce the snow emergency.
Director of Public Works Brian Craft told council the city has 400 tons of salt on hand and has contracted for another 377 tons for the season. He said a storm the size of what is predicted could easily use the salt on hand. "We have told the plow drivers to knock down on the use of salt. Getting the vehicles off the streets will also help make the job of clearing the streets easier," Craft said.
In preparation for the storm, Craft plans to participate in a conference call with the Ohio Department of Transportation at 4:15 today to talk about the salt situation and related issues.
Craft said the city has been spending some time on pothole repair, but with the weather, the cold patch pops out about as fast as it is put in place. He also said the city has had 20 private sidewalks cleaned of snow following complaints. Residents have 24 hours after a snowfall to clean walks. Craft said it has been a problem because often the snowfalls have not been far enough apart to trigger the deadline.
Since Christmas, Craft said snow removal crews have logged 2,900 hours of overtime.
One of the new pieces of legislation given a first reading Monday night would allow the city to again participate in the ODOT rock salt purchase agreement for the 2014-2015 winter season.
Bowling Green State University spokesman David Kielmeyer said dealing with winter weather was becoming almost routine on campus.
"We're continuing to monitor  the weather like everyone else," he said.
The university will move crews to 12-hour shifts  so they are ready for snow removal.
"The challenges we've have been having is wind and temperature," Kielmeyer said. This storm looks to pose a problem in neither aspect.

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