The man with the big shovel says Spokane Valley is ready for winter.
“We’ve got all the plows and equipment and all the chemicals we need,” city Public Works Director Neil Kersten said. “We think we’re ready to go.”
Kersten has spent the past year marshaling a snow-plowing force to replace the Spokane County service that county commissioners decided to quit providing.
He arranged for the city to lease the former Waste Management yard a block from City Hall, negotiated the purchase of a half-dozen highway-grade plow-sander trucks and got the city’s summer road contractor to provide manpower.
Two city employees will be shifted from other duties to plow streets with up to two dozen drivers from Poe Asphalt Paving’s Post Falls operation and its subcontractors.
Poe will provide nine drivers, a combination mechanic and driver, four road graders, a front-end loader and liquid de-icer for $920,000.
Additional drivers will be available on short notice if the city pays them for two hours a day while they’re on standby.
Kersten said all the designated and standby drivers have been instructed by a Washington Department of Transportation trainer and a former DOT worker who now works for a company that supplies de-icer.
They’ve also taken a bus tour of potential trouble spots, such as the