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Commissioners say they won't 'overreact' to snow complaints
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Jan. 27, 2009) — Newly elected Western District County Commissioner Rick Zweerink asked his colleagues for snow removal advice during Monday morning’s commission meeting due to impending forecasts of bad weather, and both of his colleagues agreed that not much can be done during heavy snowfall conditions.

“You can’t be in 50 places at once,” said Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall. “You guys need to make those calls, but sometimes if you scrape that sleet off, it’s slick as ice … With the ground 19 degrees, that sleet will actually act like pea gravel and you’re better off leaving it alone than moving it.”

Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham agreed.

“With the snow we get there’s not much sense trying to work on the snow until it quits. If you start pushing, you’re just going to push off all the pea gravel you’ve spread on the roads,” Farnham said.

County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer asked what she should do when people call her office asking that their roads be treated with salt or sand. All three commissioners agreed that road crews should be called out when serious problems affecting multiple vehicles are reported, but in other cases, those who call should be told that road crews will get to roads when their scheduled permit.

“We don’t want to overreact,” Zweerink said.

Zweerink said he remembers conditions were much worse many years ago when as a young man employed by the Pulaski County Road and Bridge Department, he had to try to clear county roads when the county had no salt available. Zweerink later went to work for the city of St. Robert installing the city’s first sewer system and now owns a fertilizer application service.

Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall asked whether the two commissioners had made arrangements to call road crews in for work later on Monday to avoid overtime charges.

“I thought about that, but I wanted to get them in early and make sure everything was ready,” Zweerink said. “I wanted to make sure the fuel wouldn’t jell up and they’d be ready to go.”

Zweerink said he talked to the road workers and told them to put cold-weather additives in the fuel to address that problem.

Ransdall agreed that getting prepared is important.

“What I heard is in Pulaski County we may be getting snow rather than ice. They say farther south in Arkansas it may be the most devastating ice storm they have had in 10 years,” Ransdall said.

“Does everybody have their shovels and scrapers ready for what’s coming?” Farnham asked. “I hope we’ll miss the bad weather, but I know it’s inevitable we’ll get something.”

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