When the snow comes to cover the ground, the city has a snow and ice control policy in effect to clear the more than 190 miles of roadways, 24 parking areas and nearly three miles of sidewalks.
Service Director Chris Easton said the latest snowstorm was expected to use up to 300 tons of the 3,500 tons of salt the city has available.
To remove the snow and salt the roads, the city has eight five-ton dump trucks and two one-ton dump trucks equipped with plows and salt spreaders. To operate that equipment, eight people are available to man the large plows and six people are available to man the smaller ones.
In the plan, streets are divided into three categories based upon traffic count, topography and access to facilities.
The traffic count determines if the street is considered an arterial, collector, major residential or minor residential. The topography assesses whether the street has long or steep hills, dangerous curves, major intersections or steep grades at intersections. The access to facilities is based upon use by school buses or access to hospitals, the police station, fire stations, city utilities, city offices, nursing homes and medical facilities.
The priority of a street is determined by a point system based upon the traffic count, school bus routes, land use, access to facilities and topography. Of the city streets, 45 miles are designated as primary, 58 as secondary and 88 as minor residential.
According to the plan, the Ohio Code gives the county sheriff the power to declare snow emergencies and temporarily close all or certain highways, roads and streets within the sheriff's jurisdiction. A 1997 opinion said this authority includes all federal and state highways, county and township roads and municipal streets.
A parking ban was issued for Wadsworth during the latest storm. Those households enrolled in the county's mass notification system were advised of this ban via land phone, Internet or mobile phone.
Safety Director Matt Hiscock is advising all Wadsworth residents to enroll in this program. Enrollment is available by logging onto the city's website and clicking One Call Reaches All.
Snow emergencies are designated at levels of one, two and three, with three being the level that allows only for emergency travel.
Salt and calcium chloride are used but, according to the plan, applying deicers prior to the snow is becoming a more popular and effective tool to help fight winter weather conditions.
The city is using a pretreatment system on arterial streets and bridges, and if it proves effective, the program will be expanded. Some alternatives include corn by-products and sugar beets. The city is researching a biodegradable product to pre-wet the pavement and increase the effectiveness of salt at lower temperatures.
In addition to the workers normally assigned to the plows, the city can draw from other departments or even use local excavating contractors to help with snow removal. In severe cases, Wadsworth has informal mutual aid agreements with Wadsworth Township, Medina County, Doylestown, Guilford Township and Creston.
If a mailbox is damaged during the removal of the snow, the city will repair or replace the damaged article. If the mailbox cannot be repaired, the city will install a mailbox or the owner can replace the mailbox and be reimbursed for up to $50.
Snow removal is not only for the city. Property owners are legally responsible for removing snow and ice from an abutting sidewalk within 24 hours. The first violation is considered a minor misdemeanor, and the second offense within one year of the first is considered a first-degree misdemeanor.