OFallon, Mo officials faced with plow shortage as snow approache - KMOV.com

OFallon, Mo officials faced with plow shortage as snow approaches

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By Carlos Otero By Carlos Otero

  (KMOV) --  A major snowfall could really make things difficult for at least one city in the St. Louis area after snow plows were taken out of service.

An O’Fallon, Missouri official said half the remaining fleets are more than ten years old and in his words, running rough.

The city said they faced three different options on how to handle a major snow storm with nearly 700 miles of roadway to keep clear after it snows.

The city’s salt piles are ready but eight of its plows were taken out of service weeks ago with 22 of the remaining 44 nearing the end of their run.

If the city gets six inches of snow or more and needs what is known as a level four response, its short of snow plows.

Several weeks ago, the city determined those plows had to be retired with four new trucks set to arrive in mid to late January. Those trucks were budgeted in 2013.

When asked if the city was caught off guard by this, Tom Drabelle with the City of O’Fallon said, “No, not at all. We have processes in place to replace trucks, this year we had four that aged faster than we anticipated."

The city said it was left with few options to handle this season’s snow removal; cut back on service, lease plow trucks but the city would have to pay snow plow venders to be on standby so the trucks wouldn’t be used if there was no snow, or add shifts when the area does get snow.

The city chose option three.

“Can you tell the people of O'Fallon, they'll have the same level of service when it comes to snow removal they've come to expect?  Absolutely...can assure everyone they'll see no difference from what they've seen in the past," Drabelle said.

The city has also hired a fleet manager to oversee the trucks. 

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