City manager provides update on snow removal

Published 8:31 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

While the city has remained on top of snow removal over the last several weeks, crews have also dealt with mechanical issues in their efforts, Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson said during the city council meeting Monday.

One of the city’s four-wheel drive trucks broke down recently, due to the severe winter weather conditions the area has experienced last month, Anderson said. In addition, he reported that the city’s front-end loader is also suffering under the strain.

“It’s going to have a $25,000 to $30,000 repair bill for it,” Anderson said. “Prior to doing that we’re going to look at pricing it out. Anytime you’re looking at spending about a third of the cost of a new piece of equipment, you’ll need to look at the pros and cons.”

When asked by one of the council members about the status of clearing off the city’s sidewalks, Anderson said that crews are using snow blowers rather than a blade due to the massive accumulation, which has slowed work to about the quarter of its usual pace.

“We’re at it. We have full crews working on it,” he said. “They’re working 12-13 hours a day on it. It just takes so much longer using a blower.”

Anderson also urged the public to do what they can to keep vehicles off city roads at night, which will help road crews with their efforts.

“We know that parking is extremely difficult right now,” he said. “The streets are getting narrower and narrower.”

Anderson also reported that the city has discovered a number of frozen water lines within Dowagiac, as the frost has moved deeper into the ground. Residents and business owners who are concerned about the issue should leave one of their faucets slightly on throughout the day in order to keep water running through their lines. The city will provide additional credits for the extra expenses associated with that, Anderson said.

“It’s much better than trying to go out and spend the extra money and time when dealing with a burst pipe,” he said.

The council also passed two resolutions concerning the Dowagiac Dial-a-Ride service Monday night. The first was an agreement to enter into a project agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation, in which they will receive $14,048 worth of federal aid. The second was the adoption of an updated Title VI plan, which lays out its non-discrimination policies.