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Nearly 1,000 tons of salt and sand used to fight storms

Dickinson's public works department has poured about 620 tons of salt, 300 tons of sand and about 80,000 gallons of brine so far this winter, said Gary Zuroff, the city's public works director, at the city commission meeting Monday evening.

The Dickinson city commissioners will hold their next liquor license meeting Tuesday Jan. 17 and next regular meeting Tuesday Jan. 24. Photo by Ellie Potter/The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson city commissioners will hold their next liquor license meeting Tuesday Jan. 17 and next regular meeting Tuesday Jan. 24. Photo by Ellie Potter/The Dickinson Press

Dickinson's public works department has poured about 620 tons of salt, 300 tons of sand and about 80,000 gallons of brine so far this winter, said Gary Zuroff, the city's public works director, at the city commission meeting Monday evening.

The street department has also used about $20,000 worth of fuel and replaced 85 blades on their equipment, he said. His crews have worked 1,500 hours of overtime and the city has contracted about 350 hours at $150 an hour for the manpower and equipment to help remove the snow and ice.

"That's quite significant for a snow event, and we're only in January," Zuroff said.

The street department has already hauled about 3,200 truckloads of snow - about 80,000 cubic yards - and is looking to haul more. The city has a few designated areas where the crews have been dumping snow, but some are filling up. They are now turning to other city properties for snow storage such as land near the new Dickinson Middle School.

"Normally when we move snow, haul snow, we put it in wind rows like you see downtown or in some areas," Zuroff said. "That's kind of common practice in the downtown areas because... there's not a lot of room, so we do wind row it to the center, and then we have the snow blowers that blow it in the trucks, and then it's hauled."

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Commissioner Carson Steiner noted that he has noticed some apartment complexes dumping the snow back into the roadways, which narrows the path for cars to get through. Mayor Scott Decker also said the commission may need to consider providing an area where private contractors can dump snow from these areas.

Decker pointed out that the city and these contractors would need to be mindful to try and keep garbage out of these snow piles to avoid polluting the land where the piles will eventually be moved.

Zuroff said that trash is not a concern for the city because of the manner in which they blow and haul the snow, but it could be if a lot of people begin hauling their own snow.

The salt, sand and brine become so diluted in all the snow that they do not pose an environmental problem, he said.

Steiner complimented the department on their work so far this winter.

"In the last week and a half I've been to Bismarck, Minot and Billings, Mont. and I would put up our street crew and our streets against any of those communities," Steiner said. "Billings, 20 inches of snow, they did not even go into the residential areas."

The commission may make some adjustments to the winter plan later, though no changes were made at Monday's meeting. Zuroff noted that the public works department is tracking every call and encouraged the public to call them at 701-456-7979 and to leave a message if needed.

The city commissioners will soon get city emails to use for all city-related purposes, said City Attorney Haylee Cripe. Right now all the commissioners communicate with their constituents, city officials and one another through personal accounts, which could complicate things if the city were to receive an open records request, she said.

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"It will alleviate a lot of your personal emails being co-mingled with city emails, and it makes it a lot easier for us to respond to open records requests and making sure we're getting every record," Cripe said.

The commission also approved the final reading and approval of an ordinance that will cap the sales and use taxes at $100. The ordinance will take effect July 1, giving the state tax commissioner's office time to educate the sales tax permit holders on the change.

The commission voted to move its next liquor license meeting to Jan. 17 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall because the city offices will be closed on Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The next city commission meeting was also moved from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24 because of Southwest Night with the legislators in Bismarck.

Related Topics: DICKINSON CITY COMMISSION
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