MOUNT VERNON — Last weekend’s snow event, plus some more need to attack city streets in the middle of the week, used a lot of salt and ran up overtime hours in the Street Department.
At the mayor’s weekly press briefing Friday, Street Superintendent Tom Hinkle reported last weekend alone used up about 217 tons of salt and Street employees rolled up 167.5 hours of overtime. On Jan. 19, a shift was in from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., another shift came in from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., and then the first shift came back in from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but no one had to work on Jan. 21. The streets were generally finished on Tuesday.
By the end of the week, the totals were up to 319 tons of salt and 199.5 hours of overtime. That leaves the city with about 600 tons of salt in the storage barn, Hinkle said.
Since Jan. 1, he said, the city has used about 700 tons of salt, had 300 tons delivered and street crews had run up 799 hours of overtime. Since Jan. 7, he said half his crews have had only two days off and the rest only one.
Utilities Director Mathias Orndorf said only two frozen water meters were reported, as the snow cover insulated the ground and kept it from freezing too deeply. However, as temperatures plunge in the coming days, people with water lines that tend to freeze should keep a drip going. They will be able to request a free credit later, although when the credit is received will depend on their billing cycle.
Temperatures are expected to plunge to near or below zero by midweek, but little or no snow is predicted.
What time was available later was used to repair equipment and fix signs that had been hit, Hinkle said.
Work has begun on getting the C.A.&C. Depot ready for the Chamber of Commerce to move into the historic building, Parks Superintendent Dave Carpenter reported.
The large table in the west conference room has been moved to the police department and rooms the Chamber of Commerce will use are being remodeled.
The Knox County Parks district will continue to use some space, Carpenter will keep a small office there, the model railroad club will still meet in the basement and the public restroom will still be open.
Mavis said the lease agreement with the Foundation Park Conservancy will need to be modified, as under the terms of the new agreement the Chamber of Commerce will pay the gas and electric utilities. Currently, the city pays the utilities.
The Chamber is expected to move into the depot in March and their presence will keep the building occupied from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Carpenter said an exhaust fan was installed in the Parks Maintenance Garage on West Gambier Street. A lot of painting takes place there and they will now be able to remove the paint fumes.
Jason Epley, assistant to the engineer, said they are completing specifications on the Beech Street sidewalk project and the Kirk Street water project and hope to advertise them for bids next week. The bids should be opened later in February.
They are also working on plans for the 2019 street resurfacing program, which will likely include Kirk and McKenzie streets since they will have been torn up from the water project.
A couple streets, Marma Drive being an example, need complete rebuilds instead of just milliing and an overlay because the pavement is too thin.
He said Greenwich Electric will be back in the Parrott Street project area soon to install more of the signal system that will tie into the railroad crossing system, but won’t be activated until the final layer of pavement is applied, the lanes painted, and the railroad crossing upgrade is completed.
Epley said they are also working on completing the engineering for the bicycle path under the Viaduct.