Snow flurries in this
week's forecast serve as a blunt reminder that winter is just
around the corner. While this first threat of frozen precipitation
doesn't amount to much, it is perhaps a symbolic nod by mother
nature to winter preparations planned this week by the Butler
County Engineer's Office.
crews will prepare salt trucks and plows for the upcoming snow
and ice season. "Our drivers will install plow blades, ensure
the salt spinners and conveyors are working properly, check over
all safety features, and thoroughly clean their trucks,"
said County Engineer Greg Wilkens. "They will also check
their routes by performing dry runs and re-familiarizing themselves
with all aspects of the roads they cover."
On Wednesday crews
from townships and cities throughout Butler County will join
BCEO crews for the annual Snowfighters Truck ROADEO. Following
a 2-hour classroom training in which drivers will review safety
measures, local and state laws, and radio procedures, the ROADEO
will be held on the grounds of the Engineer's Office. This annual
fall tradition pits drivers against one another in a light-hearted
competition that allows crews to practice truck maneuvers through
an obstacle course designed to simulate actual winter situations.
The BCEO heads into
this winter season with 13,000 tons of salt in its two storage
barns. Last year the BCEO spread 4,438 tons of salt on 266 miles
of County-maintained roads. The previous winter only 1,930 tons
were used. Both figures are below the 6,000-ton average over
the past ten winters. "Although the past two winters have
been relatively easy, we'll be ready for whatever type of winter
comes our way this year," Wilkens added. "Our number
one goal is always to keep our roads safe."