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Kent County Road Commission reporting full staff of snow plow truck drivers, stock of salt this winter

The road commission says their preparedness this winter happened despite labor shortages and supply chain issues in other industries.

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — With another snowfall in the books this season, officials with the Kent County Road Commission are encouraging everyone to drive safely and patiently. During heavy, wet snowfall events, Director of Operations Jerry Byrne says it's important to remember how to take extra care on the roads. 

"When that sun goes down and that temperature starts to spike down, it's going to turn to ice," he says. "It's really getting back into those winter driving modes of slowing down, paying attention and giving yourself the extra distance."

Despite labor shortages and supply chain issues across other industries, the commission has both a full staff of snow plow truck drivers and extra salt.

"We tried to get those drivers on to get some seat time get behind the wheel before we put them out. In a snowstorm they need to feel comfortable behind that truck, because they're not only driving a truck, but they're running the sand or they're running the scraper," he says. 

There's 20,000 tons of salt in the commission's stock right now, and Byrne says it was leftover from last winter. He says it's never too early to think about preserving that product. 

"We never try to melt off all the snow as its as it snows. To begin with, we're going to mechanically take it off. We're going to use salt as sparingly as possible for the environment," he says. "You need to mechanically shovel it, scrape it first, and then melt off the little bit that's left not try to melt it off during when it's snowing rates of an inch an hour, we're not just going to dump salt on to melt it off. And that's not good for the environment, the infrastructure or the pocketbook."

Another thing that's not good for some people's pocketbooks: Officials with Mobile GR report that more than 200 people were issued tickets this past weekend for odd/even street parking violations. That adds up to more than 2,300 violations this season.

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