Knoxville — The City of Knoxville's Street Department has already had a busy winter, responding to seven snow events already.
One of the busiest events recently was on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. This event required 68 1/2 hours of overtime for Streets employees, as well as employees from the Cemetery and Wastewater departments who assisted in the cleanup.
During this event, the department also used 48 tons of sand. Eight hours of just hauling snow to the City's dump, near Auld Park, were required on Monday, Thursday and Friday following that, according to Street Superintendent Dennis Webb.
The most recent event took 43 hours for the department to handle. The department used 42 tons of sand/salt mixture and required 30 hours of time to haul off. Due to the streetscape project, specifically the sidewalks along Second street, being incomplete, City workers are also clearing snow in front of buildings from Main to Robinson. The City does not want property owners to use products on this sidewalk, as it will affect the concrete.
To try to avoid overtime, Webb said those working to clear the streets worked different shifts. Overtime numbers are not a concern yet for the department, but as Webb said, there is a great deal of time left in this winter. When snow hits on the weekend, overtime is hard to avoid.
"When we get snow on Sunday, we just can't (avoid overtime)," Webb said.
The efforts of the City's workers have not gone unnoticed. Marion County Facilities Director Cal Stephens wanted to extend his compliments to the crew's efficiency in clearing the snow from around the courthouse.
There is only a 30 percent chance of snow in Knoxville Friday night, with the chance decreasing through the weekend. Webb said that if the snow does begin to fly this weekend, his department is ready to go.