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* News Release *
 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
For Immediate Release

WINTER PREPARATIONS GEAR UP AS CONSTRUCTION SEASON WINDS DOWN

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.

New 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 pointed out.

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.

Butler County Snow Summit

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 are:

  • Greg Wilkens, Butler County Engineer
  • Scott Bressler, BCEO Operations Deputy
  • 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.

Snowfighters Truck Roadeo

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.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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