NEWS BLOG (WSAU) It was a major storm. 11-inches in Wausau. And yet we've dusted ourselves off and continued on with our lives.
The plowing and snow removal in Wausau has been excellent. We're not down to bare-pavement yet, but we will be by the end of the day. Our Department of Public Works, highway crews, and plow drivers have done an excellent job. And Wausau leaders made the right call by re-hiring the 10 DPW workers who were laid off earlier this month. They were needed for snow removal. With our big trucks, the amount of work we can get from 10 extra drivers is tremendous, and makes a huge difference in making a quick recovery from a storm.
There is a cost-savings policy that some people object to that should be defended. Some municipalities are not doing major snowplowing during overnight hours, when travel levels are extremely low. This policy stands up well to cost-benefit analysis. The price in manhours and overtime to keep plowing the streets at a time when most people are asleep is tremendously expensive. Snow removal is a major part of most municipal budgets. That money is better-spent concentrating on snow clearing for morning rush-hour, when most people are on the roads. At the height of a bad storm, when people are advised to limit unnecessary travel, the cost of keeping roads clear at 1am is prohibitive. Focusing that effort during high-travel periods is the right decision.
If you agree, give your neighborhood plow-driver a wave or a thumbs-up. They usually only hear complaints. Let them hear from you when they've done a good job, too.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau