The City of Geneva has won a 2013 Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award from the Salt Institute for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt.
The award comes at a time when Geneva continues to battle Mother Nature, which has dropped more than 44 inches of snow during 32 different weather events this winter season.
For comparison, the City has averaged about 22 inches by the start of February the past several years. Plow operators have used more than 3,000 tons of salt throughout the winter season to help keep Geneva’s 244 lane miles safe for motorists.
Geneva earned high marks on the Salt Institute’s checklist that graded safety and service, equipment, materials usage, snow plowing performance, tactical operations before and during a storm, storage and safety, and environmental measures.
“The Geneva Public Works Department is honored to be named as one of only 90 municipalities in the United States and Canada to receive this award,” Streets Superintendent Chris Bong said. “Everyone here works very hard to provide the safest possible roads while also being mindful of costs and environmentally conscious.”
About 17 million tons of deicing salt is applied to roadways across the country each year. Keeping roads clear of snow and ice not only makes driving safer but also benefits the local economy by maintaining access to major commercial districts.
“The familiar sight of trucks spreading salt on icy winter roads gives motorists reassurance, as it should,” Salt Institute President Lori Roman said. “If that salt was stored in and spread by an agency honored with a Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award, motorists have the added assurance of knowing the utmost care has been taken to protect public safety and the environment.”
Having enough road salt on hand before storms hit requires advance planning and facilities that provide safe and efficient storage, according to the Salt Institute. The winning communities must also display proper maintenance and good housekeeping practices.
The Salt Institute is a non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition. For more information, visit the group’s website at www.saltinstitute.org.