MOLINE, Ill. — Moline Public Works Department is preparing for winter weather on a good start this year.
"We're as prepared as we can be," said Rodd Schick, general manager of Moline Public Works.
Schick says the department is in the process of maintenance checks and changing truck equipment from leaf collection to snow-plowing.
"So making sure all of our salt spreaders are working. All the plows are working, all the heating systems and everything within the truck is working, so that everything's ready to go," said Schick.
Although the department is on schedule with winter preparations, they still need to hire more employees to stay afloat. The department was on a hiring freeze when COVID-19 arrived, and now they're looking to fill new plowing positions.
"We're looking for people that are willing to put in the time and be trained," said Schick. "Somebody that understands that we respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year."
On the bright side, its budget is more than prepared for new hires and even more supplies.
"We have adequate salt supply to address three to four snow events on-hand right now. And then we're under a contract with the state of Illinois for an additional 5,000 tons," said Schick.
The department is also implementing new routing plans for winter 2021-22.
"We are putting an emphasis on our residential routes. In the past, we have always focused on our main routes and our hill routes," said Schick. "That's been a problem for many, many, many years here. So we're hoping to be able to start addressing that."
Schick says they've also upgraded their trucking equipment so they can do twice the work and eliminate the need for extra plows in one place.
The department says it can remove more snow on the streets than last year with the additional employees.