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 Eastpointe and Roseville are preparing for snow as winter progresses in Michigan.

Eastpointe and Roseville are preparing for snow as winter progresses in Michigan.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Eastpointe, Roseville prepare for winter weather

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 19, 2018

EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Winter in Michigan always means one thing: snow. Each city has its own policies and procedures for clearing the snow, and officials in Eastpointe and Roseville want residents to be aware of how their community handles winter storms.

In the city of Eastpointe, the Department of Public Works handles snow removal on the streets, and the Building Department coordinates snow removal on sidewalks.

The Eastpointe DPW maintains its own personnel and equipment rather than contracting with a private company or another municipality.

“We have 12 personnel,” said Carol Apley, the acting Eastpointe DPW director. “We have five trucks that are used for salting and are equipped with underbody scrapers and that can have front plows added when needed. We also have 10 medium-duty trucks that also can be equipped with front plows.”

Apley said that the department is always looking at opportunities to update and maintain its equipment.

“We are in the process of asking for the council to purchase a V-box salt spreader for one of our new vehicles,” she added. “It will make it more efficient and safer for the crew to lay down salt and mean we’re spreading less salt on peoples’ cars.”

The Eastpointe DPW does get its salt from an outside contractor.

“We get our salt from Detroit Salt (Co.), and our obligation is 2,000 tons this year,” said Apley. “We are obligated to take at least 70 percent this winter, and we can take up to 130 percent of 2,000 tons this winter if needed.”

She said Eastpointe maintains a list of priority areas that are the first portions plowed to allow the maximum amount of traffic to flow and reduce weather-related accidents as much as possible.

“Eastpointe’s goal during any snowstorm is to keep primary and secondary streets open and safe for the motoring public,” Apley explained. “Priority I streets in the city are Gratiot, Toepfer, Hayes, Stephens, Nine Mile, Kelly, Beaconsfield and Old Eight Mile. Priority II are fire lanes and selected school locations.”

She said the most important thing for people to know going into the snow season is to check the city’s website and social media pages for news of snow emergencies during winter storms. This will let them know when the city mandates that people keep their parked cars off the streets.

“The major thing people need to remember during snowstorms is removing their vehicles from the street once a snow emergency is declared. Once an emergency is declared by the city manager, which is after 4 inches of snow falls, residents are to make sure no cars are left on the street,” said Apley. “It makes our job easier, and this way, we don’t have to go around cars. There is an ordinance against leaving cars in the streets and people can be ticketed for.”

As for sidewalks, residents are responsible for clearing their own sidewalks.

“Our ordinance requires residents or occupants of residential property clear their sidewalks of snow or ice after the conclusion of the snow event. If they don’t, the code enforcement officers (from the Building Department) will go out and identify which houses haven’t complied,” said Eastpointe Building Official Mary Van Haaren. “The first time we notify the resident, and if they don’t do it within 24 hours from that, we send out a contractor to do that and invoice the resident for that service.”

Van Haaren said the city is still determining who the top bidder is to handle this sidewalk clearing.

Senior citizens who cannot clear their own sidewalks are able to contact Macomb County to receive assistance.

“Senior citizens who might not be able to clear their own sidewalks can go through Macomb County, who have a senior chore list, and they will assist them with jobs like clearing snow or mowing lawns, and we will honor that commitment if they aren’t able to get anyone out there within 24 hours,” she explained.

Residents can contact Macomb County Chore Services by calling (586) 469-6964.

The city of Roseville has its Department of Public Services handle its snow removal.

“Everything is done in-house,” said Jeff Schmidt, the director of the Roseville Department of Public Services.

“Our personnel is at 10 people right now, and we have six actual plow trucks with salt capabilities, and we have several trucks with plows we also can use, and a tractor with a plow for paths and such. Our salt dome holds 3,000 tons of salt, and that is stocked moving into the winter season. We always have salt on hold from the vendor, which, this year, is Detroit Salt, and can buy more if needed,” Schmidt said.

The Roseville DPS handles clearing the snow from all roads within Roseville not handled by the county or the state.

“The county takes care of almost all the mile roads in Roseville,” said Schmidt. “We take care of Gratiot, Little Mack, all the half-mile roads, part of 13 Mile Road, Beaconsfield and similar streets, as well as all city roads in the neighborhoods. We only go into neighborhoods, except for bus routes, if there is 4 inches of snow or more.”

Schmidt had similar advice as Apley in regard to residents clearing snow in the winter.

“Keep your cars off the streets and don’t shovel the snow back into the street,” he said. “Sidewalks need to be cleared within 24 hours of the snowfall ending. If there’s a snow emergency, no cars should be parked in the street until after they have been plowed. Depending on how busy the Police Department is, it affects when people get ticketed, but it can happen on the first offense.”

He said Roseville residents also can call Macomb County Chore Services for assistance.