Last winter was the
second least snowiest in Butler County history, but that isn't
stopping the Engineer's Office from gearing up for what may lie
ahead. While predictions are mixed for this winter, crews plan
to be ready no matter what the forecast. Preparations include
the BCEO's annual Snow Summit and the annual Snowfighters Truck
Roadeo next week. County Engineer Greg Wilkens says his office
has also doubled its salt storage capacity with a second salt
Barn, Leftover Salt
Construction of the
additional salt facility got under way this time last year and
was completed during the winter. The new barn now contains 6,500
tons of road salt, doubling the BCEO's on-site storage capacity.
Wilkens previously noted that this provides the advantage of
more buying power to keep prices low and also makes the County
less dependent on re-stocking when salt supplies run low.
The Engineer's Office
enters this snow season with nearly 14,000 tons of salt on hand
thanks to last winter's mild weather. "We have plenty of
salt left over," Wilkens said. "Both barns are full
and there is an additional 1,000 tons or so scattered in various
storage locations around our complex. It's ironic that we would
construct a new salt barn going into one of the mildest winters
in history." The BCEO spread only 1,930 tons of salt last
year on the 266 miles of roads it maintains. "That's over
4,000 tons less than what we normally average," Wilkens
The BCEO awarded its
salt contract for the upcoming winter season in May to Cargill
Deicing Technology which submitted a low bid of $65.89 per ton.
This is the same price as the previous year's bid.
The BCEO's annual Snow
Summit will be held next Tuesday, October 23 from 9:00 a.m. until
12:00 noon at the Engineer's Office. Public safety officials
will gather to review and facilitate better organization among
agencies during severe winter weather events.
Those gathered will
learn, discuss, and work to better organize winter operations,
policies, and procedures. Attending the Summit will be management
teams and supervisors who play a role in winter weather operations
for the County, cities, townships, and various other agencies,
including the Red Cross, Police and Fire Chiefs Associations,
and representatives from local school districts.
Scheduled to speak
- Greg Wilkens, Butler
- Scott Bressler, BCEO
- Jeff Galloway, Director,
Butler County EMA
- Diane Watkins, Representative,
Road Solutions, Inc.
- Matt Franke, Radio
Communications Director, Butler County Sheriff's Office
- Shavonna Neal, Training
Officer, Ohio DAS
Among topics presented
will be the 2012-13 winter plan, Butler County Emergency Operations
Center and Incident Command System, radio communication and dispatch,
and the use of beet juice as an eco-friendly compliment to road
salt for treating icy and snow-covered roads.
A fall tradition at
the Engineer's Office is the annual Snowfighters Truck Roadeo
in which snow plow drivers from cities and townships throughout
Butler County join BCEO crews for in-class training, review of
safety procedures, salt truck preparation, and the actual roadeo
competition. The competition allows crews to practice truck maneuvers
through an obstacle course designed to simulate actual winter
situations. BCEO crews will also run their actual snow plow routes,
re-familiarizing themselves with various land features and structures
near the roadway.
This year's Roadeo
is scheduled for Thursday, October 25.