WINTERSVILLE - Village employees are encouraged to use salt on Main Street as well as all side streets as soon as snow starts to accumulate.
Wintersville Administrator Walt Ziemba said Monday the village does not pre-treat its streets and depends on pure salt, "until the streets are just wet."
"Main Street has a lot of traffic that also helps wear off the snow but our crews our instructed to use salt until the snow and ice are gone. We put in a lot of overtime and we use a lot of salt," said Ziemba.
"We have never had the Ohio Department of Transportation treat our streets. It is all done by village employees. There was a time when the village used a mixture of salt and grit to treat our streets. But when the residents passed the 1 percent wage tax in the 1990s they made it clear they wanted pure salt used to treat the village streets and we have continued to follow that policy," added Ziemba.
"Our employees take great pride in the fact that our streets are the best in the valley and they truly are second to none. So all the credit as to the way the Wintersville roads have looked this winter and previous winters is directly because of our hard-working employees. I also appreciate the fact that council has allocated the resources necessary to purchase the material and equipment that our dedicated employees have requested in order to keep our roads as safe as possible as our residents deserve, and have come to expect," Wintersville Mayor Bob Gale said at last week's Village Council meeting.
"It is a matter of safety for our street and sanitation crews as well as the village police department and e-squad. We want them as well as village residents to be able to drive on our streets safely," noted Ziemba.
The difference in treating streets during snow events was highlighted last week when Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison said the state of Ohio pre-treated Main Street in Wintersville with a brine solution.
"If I misunderstood the information provided to me, I apologize," Davison said Monday.
Davison said Steubenville officials are researching the possibility of using a liquid brine solution on the city's main streets starting next winter.
"We have been looking at the Ohio Department of Transportation's Smart Salt Strategy and the advantages of adding a sprayer system to at least two of our pickup trucks so we can pre-treat our main streets, emergency routes as well as bridges and overpasses," Davison said.
"We have an agreement in place with Patriot Water for the future to treat brine water generated through Marcellus shale drilling and are looking at using that brine solution for street treatment as a way to save money while taking care of our streets," said Davison.
"We want to plow and salt our streets and stay within our budget. The use of manpower and overtime is a decision based on each snow event," Davison said.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)