Fort Lupton’s public works director, Roy Vestal, has a favorite piece of snow-removal equipment each winter.
But, as he told city council during a Jan. 31 town hall, “Old Sol” …
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But, as he told city council during a Jan. 31 town hall, “Old Sol” hasn’t been seen too much this year.
An abundance of snow, a lack of a strong sun angle this time of year and colder weather has made things a little harder for snow removal this year than in others. Vestal said this year’s $60,000 budget was just fine.
After a big snowstorm in 2021, Vestal doubled the budget and asked for more equipment.
“I chuckle. One of the councilors asked, ‘How many blades do you need?’” Vestal said. “I said, ‘One day you’re going to want all of them.”
The city has three dump trucks. Two have blades. One is a sander. Vestal’s regular staff is 13. He can call three others from the city’s parks department if necessary. He also has two contractors that are on call. The city and those contractors do not have a formal agreement yet.
“We’ve got enough staff,” Vestal said. “I will never turn down additional staff. But we’re in good shape.”
City ordinance sets up priorities for snow removal. The most important routes are so-called public access points, such as those in front of the police and fire departments, schools and City Hall. The main roads in town are next, then a one-lane pass through residential areas.
“We expect challenges, no matter how we do it,” Vestal said. “One of the biggest is the pass through. We have to send a plow in because of the narrow nature of the street and because cars are parked on the street.”
Another issue is where the snow goes. On occasion, it can go onto property that’s been recently cleared.
“We have to push the snow to the side,” Vestal said. “It’s never done on purpose. But there’s no other place to throw it.”
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