Public Works Director Wayne Rode told the Township Committee Monday night that the township is ready. Weather experts predict another polar vortex will hit the area this winter with freezing temperatures and inclement weather conditions.
Rode said the township has 41 pieces of “heavy equipment” ready to meet the challenge, including 12 trucks with salt spreaders and two new snow plows that replace two “damaged beyond repair” last year.
The public works department has purchased two new snow-plow trucks and two new snow blowers to remove snow from sidewalks.
“This should all be sufficient and I don’t see any problems,” Rode said.
The township also has about 900 tons of salt stored in its salt dome right now, or at 90 percent of its capacity, with contingency plans to purchase more as it becomes needed.
“We had to wait some time to get extra salt last year…and we are not aware of any issues with delivery right now,” Rode said.
Neptune also stores 100 tons of salt for neighboring Bradley Beach. The township went through 3,000 tons of salt last year.
“That is the most salt we have ever used in the ten years I have been here,” Rode said.
Rode said that sufficient plows, blades and parts are ready to go and that new employees are being trained on using the snow-plow trucks.
“Seven out of our 22 new employees have not plowed yet and it is tough to train to plow without snow and having them get out there,” he said.
He said that emergency contractors are also being lined up if snow fall or ice exceeds the capacity of the public works department to deal with it.
Extra signs are being posted on streets in Ocean Grove warning people that their cars will be towed if they are parked in snow-emergency areas during a storm.
“We will tow the vehicles and that is why we are appropriating the new signs,” Committeeman Eric Houghtaling, who is the public works commissioner, said.
He said that there were a few legal problems past year with towing cars since there was no signage advising residents on some streets.
“We did a good job last year and it looks like we will do a good job this year,” Mayor Michael Brantley said.