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The City Journals

Update from the public works department

Feb 21, 2017 03:13PM ● By Cassie Goff

Over the past winter season, the Cottonwood Heights Public Works Department used over 3,500 tons of salt in snow- removal efforts. (Cassie Goff/ City Journals)

By Cassandra Goff  |  [email protected]
As warmer weather approaches, the new Cottonwood Heights Public Works Department has been looking back on their busy winter season. Out of all the snow events the city has experienced, there have been no accidents with the plows. The department plans on ending the year under budget. The first winter season with the in-house public works department has been a success. Looking forward to warmer weather, the public works crew will work on flood preparation, pothole patching, tree trimming and other regular city maintenance.
“We have done 11,000 miles of driving on the roads with snowplowing this season,” Public Works Director Matt Shipp said during his monthly report on Feb. 7.
During the month of January, there were multiple freezing rain events, which required tons of salt to be used.
“We used approximately 3,500 tons of salt this month,” Shipp said. “We still have about 1,100 tons sitting in the yard. The crew expects to go through that amount before the winter season completely ends.”
In January, one of the last snow-removal days came after a wet storm.
“There was a lot of slush on Monday but not a whole lot of accumulation,” Shipp said. “There were some complaints that came in. When we found out about them, we got out and took care of it.”
Shipp said the department is improving every day and the staff is performing admirably.
Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore praised the department, saying management has been amazing this year, citing no accidents from the department.
According to City Manger John Park, when the department really took shape in November, seven people did not have commercial driver’s licenses and 10 people had never really plowed snow.
“We have done 26 events with no accidents. It’s amazing,” Park said.
To emphasize the accomplishment, Shipp said when Public Works Superintendent Danny Martinez was working with the county, there was at least one accident per person.
As Shipp looked forward into the month of February, he said the long-range forecast is fairly warm.
“We expect a few more storms, but it will be a little warming period for us. There will be plenty of moisture up in the mountains,” Shipp said. “After the snowfall, we will start preparing for flooding. We will be meeting with Mike (Halligan, assistant emergency manager) and Salt Lake County to get sandbags. We are working on figuring out where we can stage sand locations throughout the city.”
Besides flood preparations, the public works department will be working on regularly scheduled maintenance throughout the city.
“Danny sorts out the daily operations of what gets done and the daily assignments,” Shipp said in response to a question posed by Councilman Mike Peterson about daily operations. “The staff has been out diligently filling potholes. Highland Drive has been a big priority.”
During the last few weeks, the crew has been using a tool called a vibratory roller to help with the pothole cold patching.
“I have been pleased with how well the cold patches are staying in. They have been in about a week now and they haven’t popped out,” Shipp said.
For more information on the public works department or to get into contact with them, please visit their website.