Holland plans to cross-train employees from different departments to use the city's snow plows.
HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - The city plans to cross-train employees from different departments to use the city's snow plows.
It's a plan that puts less experienced drivers on the road.
"We're planning on using some of them, particularly on the early morning plowing," says Jodi Syens, director of Holland's transportation department.
Syens says because of the city's $500,000 budget shortfall, seven mechanics and employees from the parks department will learn how to drive the big plows.
"Street plows are large, so we want to make sure we have the opportunity to get people in a street plow," says Syens. "I think they can be assured we won't send them out until we're comfortable they can handle it."
Syens says everyone who gets behind the wheel of a snow plow is required to have a commercial drivers license. She says there's no official training course, but the less experienced drivers will not be going out on their own the first time.
"I think the key is to have an experienced plow driver be with them and give them instruction," says Syens.
Some city council members were also questioning whether there would be enough staffing to fix the vehicles.
"We also have some private companies that back us up on the larger repairs, " says Syens.
Syens says some of the crews could be trained in the next few weeks and the others will wait until the first snow fall.
Some of the maintenance crews were already driving snow plows on an on-call basis. The parks department employees were in charge of clearing the sidewalks and now will be used for streets as well.