Department of Public Works

When does the City remove snow
Snow is removed as it begins to accumulate. First, we concentrate on major streets, hills, hazardous intersections and school areas. Then attention is given to residential areas.

Why do residential areas get plowed last
We must keep major streets open to allow buses, emergency vehicles away to get to all parts of our City.  As soon as we are certain major streets are clear, equipment is moved into residential areas.

Major Streets: We have twenty so called "First Attention Routes" with a total of 150 lane miles to be plowed. These routes are top priority during a snow event.
How much equipment is plowing at one time
We have three plow districts with three front line vehicles in each district. When it starts to snow and accumulate, we start to plow and salt around the clock until every street has been plowed.
Culdesacs: When plow trucks complete their routes of plowing streets, they are reassigned to small pickups to clean culdesacs.
What does all this cost
Our annual snow removal cost average is over $350,000. The cost of everything just keep going up for the City, as well as individuals and families.
How much salt does the City use
Anywhere from 500 tons to 3000 tons depending on conditions. We are trying to reduce salt usage where possible, not only because of its high cost, but for ecological reasons. It damages trees and runs off into our streams. Incidentally, when the temperature drops below 20 degrees, salt becomes less and less effective. It is dormant at zero or below and does little or no good. We are now using Dow Armor, a liquid product that is mixed with salt and has the potential to work faster and stays on the roads longer. Also, Dow Armor is environmentally friendly.
Snow Removal  
Section 70-64 - Snow removed from private property not to be deposited on street or sidewalk.
No snow or ice shall be removed from private property and be deposited upon or plowed acrss any public street or sidewalk.  The plowing of snow into the street and spreading of snow within the street is prohibited.
Section 70-65 - Snow not to be plowed into or left on property of another.
No snow or ice shall be plowed into or left upon the property, sidewalk, driveway or parkway of another property.
Who do I call if I have a problem with snow removal
Call the Department of Public Works, at 616-791-6854 Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm on Friday from 7:30 am to 11:30 am.