SOUTH HOLLAND | With some 50 inches of snowfall having buried the streets of the village and surrounding south suburban municipalities this winter season, village officials have gone through higher-than-usual levels of supplies meant to keep village streets clear.
Village Trustee Matthew James, who chairs the Village Board’s public works committee, said Monday that the snowfall – the fifth-highest level on record for the area – has caused the Public Works Department to use some 1,800 tons of road salt to as to melt snow and improve traction for motorists.
James also told his Village Board colleagues that South Holland has gone through about 2,000 gallons of calcium chlorate – a chemical that helps to melt ice even at cold temperatures.
James said he believes the village will need to buy additional supplies of both salt and chlorate before the winter season ends in March, although he would not say how much more he thinks will be needed. He also said the village has some additional funds to cover the cost of such purchases. “We’ll have the money,” he said.
Public Works Department vehicles with snowplows attached have driven some 8,000 miles on South Holland’s streets, and have used about 3,000 gallons of gasoline, James said.
He also said that employees of the Public Works Department have worked nearly around the clock in recent weeks to keep streets clear of snow and ice, and have put in some 900 hours of work.
James could not say how much of that was overtime pay that will have to be approved by village government in coming weeks.
James also told his municipal colleagues how there has been an increase in water main breaks due to freezing pipes, including three such incidents on Monday alone.
Village President Don DeGraff said he was pleasd with the way South Holland streets have been maintained during heavy snowfall in December and January – with cleanup efforts complicated by two bursts of Arctic-like temperatures in recent weeks.
“I’m proud of the way our Public Works Department has conducted itself,” DeGraff said. “Both the staff and the leadership have exceeded our expectations.”
In other business, the Village Board voted 5-0, with village Trustee N. Keith Chambers absent, to have the Fire Department adopt the 2012 International Fire Code as its standard for operations. Village Attorney Timothy Lapp said the Fire Department had been operating under the 2006 code, and that the new code is an upgrade in firefighting standards.
Also on Monday, the Village Board approved 30 building permits valued at just under $1 million – including one to remodel a former Saturn auto dealership on 162nd Street into a Salvation Army store, one to install new signs at a T-mobile store at 162nd Street and South Park Avenue, and one to install new fences outside the CR England Inc. trucking company plant at 17201 S. State St.