Cities prepare for another round of snow

The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette are preparing for another round of snow.
The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette are preparing for another round of snow.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI ) – With a Winter Storm Warning in place for Tuesday and Wednesday, cities are preparing to keep the streets as safe as possible.

The city of Lafayette is as ready as ever.

“We have a snow emergency declaration all ready to go. Our equipment’s in good shape. We had a few pieces down, you know, throughout the winter, but we’ve had a little bit of a break here, so we’re back in good shape,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.

Roswarski is asking residents to be prepared as well and move their vehicles off the streets in case that snow emergency is declared. That goes for residents on and off the snow emergency routes.

“We can cut down the time that it takes to plow the city dramatically with getting the cars off the road and we can plow curb to curb,” said Roswarski.

Roswarski said salt has been very difficult for the city to get and sometimes it’s taken weeks to get orders in. But he said the city is ready to roll, with about 400 tons of salt and 500 tons of sand.

Across the Wabash, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the city is also prepared to take on another round.

“The city of West Lafayette is prepared to handle it. We’re applying salt and what we call beet heat, which is a combination of beet juice and chemicals. We’re getting the roads pre-treated,” said Dennis.

But this winter has not been cheap for either city, especially for overtime. Roswarski said the city is 60-70 percent through the winter budget, money that is supposed to last through December.

“The good thing is we have cash in our operating balances we just discussed and other monies that we’ll be able to move around, so we’ll be fine,” said Roswarski.

The story’s the same for West Lafayette.

“Fortunately, it’s bridging over two fiscal years. So, we were able to meet our financial obligations for 2013 and, obviously because we’re in the second month of 2014, we’re standing pretty strong,” said Dennis.

One more financial issue for cities are water main breaks. Since Oct. 15, Lafayette has had 58 water main breaks, which is far ahead of schedule. Water officials said in a typical winter season which lasts from October through the end of March, there are 65.

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