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Canton DPW superintendent wants larger salt shed for storms

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  February 12, 2013 03:34 PM

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Canton’s head of public works is hoping the two feet of snow that fell during last week’s blizzard persuade the town to build a larger salt shed.

Michael Trotta, superintendent of the department, said the duration and intensity of the storm meant his crews were sure to fall behind. But that doesn't mean his crews didn’t try.

“They stayed with it and plowed through the whole storm,” Trotta said Tuesday. “A lot of guys worked 36 or 38 hours.”

Trotta calculated that Canton’s crews and equipment can stay on top of snowfall if it sticks to about an inch per hour. During the Feb. 9-10 storm, snow fell at between 2.5 to 4 inches at times, he said.

During a normal snowstorm of between six and nine inches, crews can have snow cleaned up within 10 or 12 hours after the snow stops falling. It took about twice that amount of time over both Saturday and Sunday to clear the roads.

And there were still complaints, Trotta said.

Most complained that roads weren’t wide enough and some on dead end roads and cul-de-sacs complained that plows did not come close enough to their homes, Trotta said.

“I think those are legitimate complaints,” Trotta said of the latter. “If we have not gotten the snow back within two or three feet of the driveway, we should do something about that.”

He added that his office had also received calls praising the department’s efforts.

Despite the difficulty, Trotta said there was little that could or should be changed about the town’s response.

In terms of equipment, Canton’s trucks match the needs of the town in general, Trotta said, adding that the recent blizzard was the worst storm of his career.

“You can’t always gear yourself to the worst of what is going to happen,” Trotta said.

Where he said the town could improve is in building a larger salt shed. The current shed holds about 1,000 tons of salt, and Trotta said the town could use a shed that holds 3,000 to 4,000 tons, which would last for the whole winter.

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