Public works crew keeps city moving


Last updated 1/5/2022 at Noon

When snow comes in the night to blanket Sisters, and most of us are snug in our beds, the six-person Public Works crew is on the job, removing snow from the city streets.

While many of us were relaxing after holiday celebrations, these trusty stalwarts were out in the cold and snow, starting at about 9 p.m. in the downtown core to plow the streets. They start in the downtown commercial area so that Tewalt & Sons Excavators can come in at about 1 a.m. and haul away the mounds of snow created by the plows, making parking spaces available on downtown streets, and keeping traffic moving freely. From the downtown, they move out into all the neighborhoods.

Due to continued snowfall overnight December 26-27, the crew kept working straight through until 3 p.m. the next afternoon, having to retrace their steps two additional times. Several crew members were sent home to be ready for the next night if needed. At the same time as the plowing, crew members are also responsible for all water, sewer, and maintenance issues that might arise.

A newly acquired City truck plow made the crew’s work go faster than with their old equipment.

Public Works Director Paul Bertagna reminds citizens to not shovel or blow snow out into the street because it will just get pushed back again the next time the plow comes by.

Heavy snowfall will likely keep crews busy through the week.

Troy Rayburn of the City Public Works Department sent out a “friendly reminder” to local businesses regarding their responsibilities in keeping sidewalks clear.

•?Be proactive in removing snow on all sidewalks around your business or property. This is to assist in preventing accidents that the property owner is accountable for.

•?Do not use chemical-based deicers or snow melt on the sidewalks. These products begin to break down the concrete after a couple of applications, eventually causing sections of the sidewalk to crack and chip away. Use sand and/or birdseed as substitutes to chemical-based deicers or snow melt.

•?Large cracks and missing chucks of the sidewalk create trip hazards for others who frequent the downtown core.

•?Replacing crumbling sidewalk panels is expensive and the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.

ODOT will continue to plow Highway 20.


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