Irwin OKs snow plow
Irwin officials aren't waiting for Punxsutawney Phil to provide a positive prediction for a quick end to winter.
Borough council recently gave public works director Jim Halfhill the go-ahead to “fast track” the purchase of new $6,100 snowplow after learning that parts for a 16-year-old plow system that failed no longer are available.
“At the beginning of the month, we were down to one snowplow,” said Halfhill, whose four-person crew is responsible for clearing snow and salting the 18.1 miles of borough streets.
The public-works department took delivery of the plow last week and plans to have it installed on a 2001 dump truck by the end of this week. The department has two other dump trucks — a 1999 that is equipped with a salt spreader but does not have a plow and a 2006 that has both a plow and salt spreader.
When snow is in the forecast, Halfhill and his crew use salt to pretreat roadways and then make additional passes with salt once the snow has been plowed. However, if rain falls before it begins to snow, pretreating “is a waste” because the salt will be washed away.
Irwin started the winter with 220 tons of road salt and will reorder more through the season as its needed. Halfhill expects to use about 800 tons of salt by the time the weather breaks.
Council also gave Halfhill permission earlier this month to order a new dump truck that will be outfitted with a plow and spreader. The Ford F-450 will be equipped with a diesel engine for durability and have an aluminum bed and panels that won't rust when they are exposed to the corrosive affects of salt and moisture.
The new truck will cost about $75,000. The vehicle was ordered from the Kenny Ross dealership, which participates in the state's purchasing program that allows municipalities and other government agencies to buy items at low prices without the need for competitive bidding, Halfhill said.
“I ordered the new truck as soon as council gave me the go-ahead, but it will probably take eight to 10 weeks before we take delivery,” he said. “Until then, we'll make do with what we have.”
Mayor Dan Rose said he is impressed with the borough's tiny road crew.
“I can't tell you how many times over the years residents have come up to me and said how good a job the borough does at removing snow,” the mayor said. “There's been plenty of times that Route 30 is covered in snow, and then you drive into Irwin and the roads are clear. I think they do an outstanding job.”
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.