Oswego DPW Readies To Take On Winter

OSWEGO, NY – As the temperatures decrease and the possibility of snow increases, the Oswego DPW continues to prepare for the inevitable.

It's getting to be that time of year again - when trucks transform into snowplows.
It's getting to be that time of year again - when trucks transform into snowplows.

At a recent meeting, the Common Council approved the transfer $40,000 from Account A5132.0410 Central Garage Materials & Supplies to Account A5142.0410 Snow Removal Materials & Supplies.

The funds are needed to purchase ice control sand and salt for the upcoming winter season, according to Mike Smith, DPW commissioner.

The council has also approved seeking bids for a reconditioned cab and chassis for use by the Department of Public Works.

“We only have two stand-alone sanders, one of which is a 1986 that we were hoping that we’d get through this winter with. However, upon inspection the last couple of weeks we are worried about it making it through the season,” Smith said.

They’re looking to go out to bid for another reconditioned cab and chassis to put a sander box on. Smith hopes the city can find one at a reasonable price.

The one they did a few years back has worked out “quite well,” according to Smith.

“We are in the process of preparing ourselves. I don’t know if you can ever be completely prepared for an Oswego winter,” he said. “We certainly are starting to stockpile salt and sand. We are starting to get all our winter equipment ready to roll as soon as it’s needed.”

Last winter didn’t really feature any blizzards, but the snowfall was frequent and heavy enough to keep plows on the roadways for extended periods of time.

“We used very close to everything we had (salt/sand) stockpiled last winter. I would say we started with about a (storage) dome and a half of salt. We went through almost all of that, maybe had less than a quarter of a dome left at the end of the season. So we are restocking right now,” Smith said.

Earlier this month, State Sen. Darrel Aubertine announced he has secured more than $1.02 million for the Port City.

The funding will enable the city to purchase equipment, without increasing property taxes. Among the equipment will be two snowplows, Smith said.

Even if he’s heard any predictions, Smith said he wouldn’t believe them.

“You just don’t know. We could get snow as early as November – or October and it might keep snowing until Mother’s Day. You just don’t know. So we are trying to get as prepared as we can,” Smith noted.

In case you’re wondering, the earliest it has snowed in Oswego the past five years has been Oct. 27 in 2005 – 0.1-inch.

No measurable snow was recorded in Fulton that year until Nov. 17 – 2.0 inches.

The earliest snowfall the past five years in Fulton was Nov. 2 in 2006 – 0.5-inch.

The average winter snowfall is 150.8 inches.

The winter of 2008-09 came in at 155.6 inches in Oswego and 220.0 inches in Fulton.

For 2007-08 the numbers were 160.2 inches and 185.5 inches.