With students at home learning virtually and several businesses closed due to this week’s winter weather, many residents are able to stay in and watch the snow and mercury fall from the comfort of their homes. Not so for the ten employees who make up the Grain Valley Public Works department.
On Sunday, February 14th, Public Works Team A worked a 12-hour shift, applying a salt treatment and then plowing snow.
During the day on the 14th, a water main break occurred on Old 40 Highway which required other Public Works staff to be called in to repair the water line.
On Monday, February 15th, Public Works Team B worked a shift plowing snow and treating streets. The work continued Tuesday, February 16th and Wednesday, February 17th, as snow continued to fall.
Crews responded to a second water main break on Tuesday, February 16th on McQuerry Road.
Over the last three days, the Public Works staff repaired 40 frozen residential water meters.
Reached for comment on the recent work by the department, Community Development Director Mark Trosen was quick to praise the work of the City employees.
“The Public Works staff goes above and beyond each day to serve our community but over the last three days due to frigid cold temperatures and snow conditions, that call to service has intensified. Public Works only consist of 10 employees that have worked tirelessly these last few days to ensure that residents have water in their homes and safe streets to drive on,” Trosen said.
Work on water mains and residential meters continue as problems arise, and the road crews continue efforts to keep the streets clear.
“Grain Valley is divided into three snow districts, for operational purposes, with each district assigned a minimum of one truck. Streets in each district are classified as Priority One/ Emergency Snow Routes (arterial streets), Priority Two (collectors), and Priority Three (residential and cul-de-sacs). Priority one streets are the first streets to receive attention,” Trosen explained.
“Whenever the Priority One streets are deemed safe for travel during or after a snowfall, the City’s plow trucks begin operations on the Priority Two streets while maintaining Priority One streets. After these streets are completed, trucks will move to Priority Three, or residential streets and cul-de-sacs. If during plowing operations on Priority Two or Three streets it begins to snow again and priority one streets become dangerous, trucks will be dispatched back to these streets as needed.”
Public Works crew members are divided into A and B team rotations, rotating weekly to be the first responders. Each team consists of 3 drivers, 1 crew leader and 1 dispatcher per 12-hour shift. The crew leader can salt and plow complaint areas or fill in for a driver that may become ill during shift.
Contact Public Works if water is not functioning in your entire home. This may indicate a frozen water meter. They can be called at 816-847-0091, or 816-990-1990 after hours.