SNOW PLOWING: City Utilizing Warmer Weather

Posted on: 5:42 pm, February 17, 2014, by , updated on: 07:14pm, February 17, 2014

Des Moines plows began clearing the streets at 8:30 a.m. Monday as over an inch of snow fell.

But if the streets in your neighborhood are still snowy, city officials say they will probably stay that way until warmer temperatures arrive.

Recent snow falls have been light and Des Moines Public Works doesn’t hit residential neighborhoods unless two inches of snow falls.

“When it’s heavy, we see them but not as frequently as we like. When it’s light, we never see them,” complained Mel Shivvers as he shoveled his sidewalk.

But an inch here and an inch and a half there has added up. There are spots outside of Shivvers’ home where the snow is five inches deep.

So why isn’t public works making its way into the neighborhoods?

Director Pat Kozitza says it’s a matter of priority.

“Our main goal is to remove material off the main roads. Then what we’ll see is the road freezing dry,” Kozitza explained.

Just one block south of Shivvers’ home, Ingersoll Avenue was clear curb to curb by noon.

Kozitza says when warm weather follows heavy snow, it’s a race to clear the most traveled roads before the temperature dips back below freezing.

Public works can also save salt and chemicals this week by counting on warmer weather.

“We’d like to conserve resources and let Mother Nature help us out,” Kozitza said.

But people whose tax dollars make up the budget want to see plows, not just melting.

“We pay the bills. The city has fun doing nothing,” Gloria Sullivan told Channel 13.

Since plows haven’t been making their way through the residential roads, Public Works says they haven’t been ticketing people for parking on them.

Homeowners are still responsible for sidewalks and have until Wednesday morning to clear the slush or risk a fine.