Come snow or more snow, Orem City is prepared to clear its streets as efficiently as possible.
Steve Weber, manager of Orem's public works maintenance division, said nothing has really changed in the way the city removes snow, but, to make it more efficient, public works wants to let residents know how it works."It's not our intent to clear every residential road and cul-de-sac," Weber said. The policy has been to remove snow from the major roads.
According to Weber, the city has discovered that salting and sanding the roads will help the snow melt more quickly than plowing it and letting it accumulate along the sides of the roads.
Orem has five vehicles, including a new sanding truck, and 10 full-time employees trained to remove snow.
Weber said that in the event of a large storm, employees from other sections in Public Works have been trained and the city can also call on private organizations to help.
Streets are cleared on a priority basis and there are five roads that are cleared by the state: State Street, 800 North, Geneva Road, 1300 South (University Parkway) and I-15.
The designated "snow routes" and first priority streets are 1600 North, Center Street, 800 South, 1200 West, 400 West, 400 East, 800 East and Main Street.
Weber said the city is asking that people living on these streets remove their automobiles during storms to facilitate snow removal.
There is no ordinance to enforce this, he said. "We are just asking people to be conscientious and do it."
In Orem, the priority streets are those that carry high volumes of traffic and serve large population areas. The second priority streets are those that carry secondary traffic, serve schools and are steep.
The amount of time needed to remove the snow depends on the type of storm, which are classified from "A" (less than 2.5 inches of snow) to "D" (more than 6 inches of snow that lasts more than 48 hours).
Class "A" storms need only about 12 hours to clear up and class "B" storms require about 36 hours. Class "C" and "D" may require several days.
"Many people call and ask why their streets have not been cleared," Weber said. The service is to major roads and that keeps the tax dollars down.
According to Weber, the city allocates about $60,000 a year to snow removal and will give more if necessary. "They have been cooperative and helpful if we have needed it," he said.
Weber said if there are questions, residents can contact the Public Works Department.