CITY OF NEOSHO SNOW REMOVAL PROCESS: A Q&A

With any operation that the City of Neosho undertakes comes many questions.   While we try to handle all of them to the best of our ability, sometimes it becomes frustrating knowing that the same question is presenting itself from several different individuals.   Often these questions are answered with a response that is correct, but is so simple it is possible that we assume everyone knows that information.  Understanding that not everyone knows the process and the finer points of the details, we assembled a Q&A list that should address most items that people want answers to. 

The road or street in front of each individual's home is the most important avenue in the system to them.  That's a normal consideration, however, financially and logistically not every road can be addressed the same.    Comparisons to services provided by other entities would be a fair way to evaluate what is taking place where we are impacted.  This is another practical and understandable consideration and again what we see and assume may actually be quite different from the reality in the greater picture.
So here you are, a Q&A on Snow Removal in the City of Neosho! 

What is our plan when a winter storm hits?

           The City is divided into four sections with one large truck (with plow) designated per section.  If a plow finishes their section then the supervisor can either send them to help another section or start again on their area. 

How many plows are we running?

The preferable process is to operate five plows including the supervisor’s truck.  The supervisor’s truck (1 ton) is utilized wherever the need is greater.  These assignments are always dependent upon equipment availability and the assumption that none of this equipment is in the shop. 

Why do the State Highways “seem” to clean up quicker?

            The State does two things we don’t.  They pre-treat just before the storm arrives.  It is also common for them to use some chemical additives when they are plowing to better break down the snow and ice.  Both increase the expense of clearing the roads.  In addition, the state routes cleared are the priority routes.  The work is concentrated on these routes until they can report clean, dry pavement.  Many state routes never see any activity until the priority routes are clear.  If the sunshine and temperatures provide sufficient assistance, they may only see a minimal amount of attention if any.  This may only be noticed by residents who travel these routes or have residence adjacent. 

In the past our roads seem to be clear fairly quickly, why is this not always the case?

The cold arctic temps work against us.  The temperature threshold for the chemicals to properly function is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  When we put down salt it helps break down the snow and ice, but at lower temperatures it doesn’t work as well (until temps rise) or stops working altogether.   At moderate temperatures where snowfall is normally the heaviest, our crews can handle the clearing quickly.   However, when people are able to drive on the snow before the plows arrive, the result is the snow packs and the plows ride on top of the packed layer of snow instead of cutting to the pavement.   Once temperatures rebound, the salt is activated and any sunshine will assist in quick removal. 

Are we able to keep all four plows running?

Normally yes, there are times when we have to shift some of the crew to help with water leaks.  If there is a flu outbreak and we are short on personnel then staffing will affect the number of plows operating.  These can only be operated by properly licensed and trained personnel. 

Does each section have a priority when we start the plows?

Yes, the snow routes are a priority.   On the East side we try to get Garland Douglas Road right away since they are at the bottom of the hill.  South Street typically has high traffic, as does Cemetery Road so they get a lot of attention. 

Do Drivers have a map when plowing?

Yes, the supervisor provides a map for each truck so they can plow each street in their assigned section.