MUNSTER | The Munster Town Council has approved a policy governing the removal of snow and ice from town streets.
Director of Operations James Knesek outlined the policy in a memo to the Town Council.
The Public Works Department relies on the Munster Police Department to notify employees when a snow event starts, and all public works employees are required to plow snow, according to the policy.
If it continues to snow more than eight hours, the public works employees with be divided into shifts and will work up to a 16-hour shift. If a second or third shift is needed to keep roads clear, Fire and Police department employees would need to participate, the policy states.
Plowing of the streets begins when there’s an inch of snow on the road.
“At the start of the snow event, the top priority are the mains, secondaries and hill streets,” Knesek said in the memo.
These streets are divided into three zones — north of Ridge Road, between Ridge and 45th Street and south of 45th Street.
“Each vehicle is equipped with a map that shows the snow routes. Residential (streets) are broken down into six zones. Each vehicle is equipped with the six residential zones,” he said.
The town no longer uses salt to prevent ice formation on the main and secondary streets because of the continued high cost of the product, Knesek said. Instead, the Public Works garage personnel now mix liquid chemicals that can be sprayed on the roadways prior to snow to prevent ice formation.
In 2012, the town paid $70.71 per ton for salt. This year the cost of salt is $64.05 per ton.
Salt is still used on main and secondary streets at intersections, railroad tracks, school zones, curves, bridges and around hospitals, the policy states.
“Once the snow event has stopped, we will salt the mains, secondaries all the way through. We will only salt residentials (streets) at stop signs once the snow event has stopped,” Knesek said.
Previous snow policies called for salting at stop signs and mid-block on all residential streets. That has now changed.
“The only time a residential (street) is salted all the way through is when the road conditions are very icy, and it will be at the discretion of the director of operations,” Knesek said.
Alleys will continue to be plowed “if we have a 4-inch snowfall or more,” Knesek’s memo said. Alleys will be plowed last.