Dollars also have been spent on extra fuel for plowing trucks. "We are 155 gallons over for this December and January from what we used last year," according to Macyauski. At an average diesel and gas price of $2.80 per gallon, $434 above the typical amount has been spent up to this point.
Eight street department workers are able to plow. Macyauski noted, "Usually the on-call person gets called first by the police department, then, if needed, we will bring in a few at a time or all at once" if a blizzard or other dire situation occurs.
Two parks department employees now maintain most of the downtown city-owned sidewalks. "That works out a lot better for us so we can stay focused on city streets," he said.
Snow and ice removal workers keep toasty in subzero temps by "trying to limit the exposure and dressing in layers," according to the director.
He reflected, "Most storms this year have been pretty similar – 4-6 inches of snow with wind and temperatures that are in the single digits and below. The more the snow sticks around, the harder it is to plow because there is just nowhere to push it without hauling it off."
Area residents can help plowing efforts along. The director suggested, "When snowstorm events happen, try to park the automobiles off city streets as much as possible. When plowing or shoveling sidewalks, try not to put the snow back on city streets that have already been plowed and/or salted. Do not push snow onto a neighbor's property."
Citizens have to be understanding about what city workers do. "It is very difficult at times for us to keep your driveway open when you have already shoveled it open. Sorry! Our primary goal is to open the streets for safe travel."