ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Rockford is gearing up for the winter season, and says it has been planning all year to keep roads clear for drivers.
Residents of Rockford worry about travel on snowy roads in the winter, but city officials, like Mitch Leatherby, the Streets Transportation Superintendent, and Kyle Saunders, the director of Public Works, say they’ve been making plans to clear and salt the roads all year-round.
“We start working on our fleet, getting ready for the next season as soon as the previous season is done,” Leatherby said.
“We’ve got our crews on standby, we’ve got our supervisors in place and we’re ready to make that decision as soon as the storm starts,” Saunders said of the city’s readiness.
The Public Works Department believes the city is well-equipped for this winter season.
“Our salt dome (at the Rockford City Yards) is at max capacity, which is 10,000 tons of salt,” Leatherby said. “Typically, every winter, we can go anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 tons of salt, but it really depends on the weather. It depends on how much we’re out, salting the streets.”
If salt levels in the reserves were to decrease, the city would call a supplier to deliver more.
Leatherby added that Rockford is on a joint purchasing contract with the State of Illinois. According to the city’s finance director, Carrie Hagerty, the city budgeted $1.4 million for salt purchases this year.
So far, $800,000 has been spent.
“We budget what we consider to be a typical year, or a reasonable estimation of what a normal year for us might be,” Hagerty said. “Obviously, normal can mean a lot of different things, where we’re at.”
To keep up with the City’s winter weather notices, such as the odd/even parking ordinance, residents can call the Snow Hotline at 779-348-7260.