One extra body making a big difference
A good snow cycle means fresh powder on the mountains, and fresh powder on Crested Butte town streets. And we have had a good of couple snow cycles lately.
The Crested Butte Public Works Department has been on top of the snow management, this year with one fewer employee than last year. That has worked out to stop the loud night work that drew more than a few noise complaints to the town 12 months ago. But overall, with an extra guy working days, public works director Rodney Due says the department is still able to adhere to the town’s 2013-14 snow plan.
“We did revise the plan when one of the two guys we hired to work nights quit a week after we gave him a job,” explained Due. “But overall, things in town have been pretty good. Right now we have no night crew doing consistent work like they did last year, peeling the pack from the streets. Frankly, the citizens seem to like that better. We have had zero complaints this season. That wasn’t the case last year. We’d hear from people a lot when we were working in their neighborhood at night.”
Due said a three-man crew still gets out at night to plow during storms if it snows more than three inches. Those nights also bring out the marshals to ticket and tow cars parked on the wrong side of the street. Another task that still takes place in the wee hours is snow bank removal. When it is time to pull the snow banks off of Elk Avenue, the crew must do that work at night when the cars are gone from the street.
“But it was peeling the pack at night that caused the most noise,” Due said. “This new guy is working out really well and we’ve shifted him to help out in the day. We are peeling the pack to keep it under six inches but we are doing that during the day. We’ll just close off the street one block at a time. We’ve done the whole town once and plan to take up the pack again, probably next week unless it starts dumping.”
Due said the abundant snowfall so far this season has the snow storage lots around town filling up a lot quicker than the previous two seasons. He anticipates the need to start hauling the snow out to the gravel pit so there is room to push the snow in the next storms. “It is getting pretty tall out there,” he admitted.
Due said his crew is working hard and the schedule can be brutal when it is the middle of a snow cycle. “It can be a hard schedule and we’ve been pretty steady. That one extra body makes a world of difference and we are grateful to have him. We haven’t had complaints from the public and the streets are looking good so that is making me a happy camper.”
Due said the crews have also been tested with a couple of water main breaks that have taken up a good amount of time and energy this winter. “All in all, I’m proud that we’re able to suck it up and we are getting it done.”