Oak Park residents face a slippery winter

February 26, 2014 by  

The winter of 2013-2014 is proving to be a record-breaker for a lot of communities across the country, with huge snowfalls and low temperatures common.

The recent weather has forced Oak Park to reconsider how it handles the storms, and reports the village has decided to limit its use of salt to main streets. The decision is being forced on the village by the record snows, which have caused it to start running out of salt.

John Wielebnicki, the Director of Public Works, said that residential streets running north and south will be salted at intersections only, while those residential streets that run east and west will be salted once, down the center of the thoroughfare. Wielebnicki says Oak Park has gotten three times more snow this year than last, with several months of winter still possibly ahead.

In addition to limiting its use of salt to only main streets, the village may not salt until after the snowfall stops, instead of salting during the storms. As a last resort, Oak Park may mix sand into the salt, but Wielebnicki is reluctant to take this step, as it could clog the sewers.

Mike Fenwick, Street Superintendent, said there was enough salt to get through the winter, but adds that the winter has been so harsh it makes sense to conserve salt now.

Village officials may want to work with brochure printers to create a mailer for residents, explaining the decision and how it will affect them.