TALLMADGE — While wintery weather has paralyzed portions of the southern and eastern United States, the city was prepared for the arctic blast lingering over the area. “Knock on wood — so far so good,” said Michael Rorar this week, who’s in his first year as Tallmadge service director.
According to Rorar, the city’s minimum order, salt-wise, is 2,520 tons and the cost per ton is currently $48.47. “The amount that is needed will depend on the winter,” he acknowledges, adding, “We should be in good shape.”
Rorar said the city also uses as much brine as possible. Brine is sprayed on the salt as it drops, he explained, saying that helps activate the salt quicker and prevents the salt from bouncing off the pavement.
When snow falls, the city of Tallmadge can have between four and 12 trucks on plowing detail, depending on the type of storm and manpower available. This includes a couple of 1-ton dump trucks, which assist with clearing parking lots and cul-de-sacs, Rorar reported. To-date, 800 hours of overtime have been logged by the service department, he says, which translates into approximately $17,800. From Monday through Friday the city utilizes two snow plow shifts. “This allows for 24-hour coverage (if needed) of our roadways during the work week,” according to Rorar.
Four recent water main breaks also have kept the city’s service department busy, although Rorar described none of them as being “too major.” Aging infrastructure makes pipes susceptible to ground shifts due to freezing.
Last year, the Tallmadge Fire Department added another tool to its lifesaving arsenal: Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on the department’s frontline ambulances to innocuously monitor CO emissions in residential and commercial structures. At just 4 ounces, the CO monitors have been attached to the heart monitors which paramedics carry into a home to treat medical complaints. Fire Chief Mike Passarelli said the units “sniff the air” to detect the presence of elevated levels of carbon monoxide.
According to Passarelli, any fuel-burning appliance like a water heater, dryer or fireplace, can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas. The symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic the flu, Passarelli says, causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and confusion. With its reputation as a silent killer, the fire chief says the CO detectors pinned to the firefighters’ bags protect first responders, too, alerting them to unseen dangers in unfamiliar environments. Previously the Tallmadge Fire Department has only conducted CO monitoring when there was a suspected issue. Twice recently, Passarelli says residents’ CO detectors have gone off due to elevated levels caused by furnace-related issues.
Tallmadge Police Chief Ronald S. Williams says “calls are down slightly due to the weather.” There have been a few reports of disabled vehicles, he notes, and a pair of animal-related calls. “One was a husky that didn’t mind the cold,” according to Williams, “and the other was a cat scratching on a door that was gone when the officer arrived.”
Tallmadge City Schools were still on their scheduled winter break, so no school closing announcements were needed. Classes are set to resume Monday.
Twitter: @ EllinWalsh_RPC