Monday, April 22, 2024
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Cookeville Considering Buying New Snow Plows, Salt Spreaders

Cookeville City Council will vote Thursday night on the purchase of three new snow plows and three new salt spreaders after challenges with recent snow and ice.

Public Works Director Blake Mayo said within the first 12 hours of this month’s winter storm, all three snow plows broke down at least once. Mayo said the department plans to purchase more heavy-duty plows in case of a similar storm in the future.

“Any time you introduce salt to these trucks or use them as salt trucks, the corrosion just begins almost immediately,” Mayo said. “So with them sitting over the summer, even though we go through them, we prep them, and give them a tryout, and everything was working well, as soon as you put them into work, something comes up just inevitably.”

Mayo said at one point during the freeze, there was only one truck available for the entire city. He said if the council votes to purchase the new ones, he hopes to have them in place, ready to go in the next two weeks.

“That really opened our eyes, and as we look at, especially looking at our plows after this event, the things that we have now aren’t quite heavy-duty enough,” Mayo said.

Mayo said a vendor came and looked at the existing equipment Tuesday and helped come up with an optimal solution. He said a bigger, heavier plow and the same salt solution on tailgate spreaders would be a vast improvement. The purchase would allow Cookeville to have five plows going at once.

“As I’m learning about this equipment, that’s just par for the course,” Mayo said. “Any snow-removal equipment is just a high-maintenance thing. It’s something you have to constantly work on, even if it’s in service more than it is.”

Mayo said the new equipment will give them the ability to more quickly get the primary and secondary streets drivable in the snow or ice storm, opening up the opportunity to get onto smaller residential streets that did not get treated during the last storm due to a lack of working equipment.

“The way this one worked out this time, it was a constant battle between the equipment and the snow event itself, especially with the cold lasting as many days as it did, which is an outlier certainly of the situation we typically have here,” Mayo said. “It was a battle to stay on top of even the primaries and secondaries.”

Mayo said he greatly appreciated the council moving so quickly to make this happen.

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