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City will clear snow from new downtown sidewalks

With winter still almost a month away, most of us are already tired of shoveling snow? But if you’re working in a downtown Kenmare business, save your back, your shovel and your sanity.

12/02/14 (Tue)

Snow brush... Public Works director Mike Thompson tries to stay ahead of the onslaught with the city's Bobcat and rotary brush as heavy snow begins falling Tuesday morning, Nov. 25 in downtown Kenmare. The city will be removing snow from the newly built sidewalks to better preserve the concrete. It is also strongly recommended that snow melt and salt not be used as it causes pitting in the cement. Instead, a special de-icer is available from the city to keep sidewalks ice free. 

By Marvin Baker

With winter still almost a month away, most of us are already tired of shoveling snow? But if you’re working in a downtown Kenmare business, save your back, your shovel and your sanity.

Help is on its way.

You may have seen public works director Mike Thompson in a Bobcat using an industrial brush to remove snow from the new downtown sidewalks.

Thompson said it’s important to realize that if anyone uses snow melt or salt on the new concrete poured last summer, it will cause pitting in the sidewalk and eventually destroy the concrete.

Instead, snow removal is being offered as a service from the city to keep the sidewalks clear of snow and free of ice.

In addition, if and when snow falls, melts and refreezes, or if freezing rain is in the weather forecast, the city has either delivered or has available a special de-icer to help melt ice and snow.

Thompson said the de-icer is also a protectant that will preserve the work that has gone into beautifying downtown.

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, a heavy band of snow moved through central North Dakota dropping 4 inches in Kenmare. It was the first significant snowfall of the season.

The National Weather Service had issued a winter weather advisory ahead of the snowfall because temperatures at the time were in the upper 20s to low 30s.

As the day progressed and the snow fell, so did the temperature. By late afternoon Kenmare was covered in ice and snow and by midnight, the temperature had fallen into the teens below zero.

But the sidewalks were relatively clean when downtown merchants opened their shops Wednesday morning, thanks to Thompson’s Bobcat brush.

On Thursday, the second winter weather advisory in a week was issued for nearly all of western North Dakota. That system brought an additional 2 inches of snow to Kenmare.

But when most downtown merchants opened on Friday, the sidewalks had already been cleaned, but light snow was once again falling behind Thompson’s pass.

At the very least, he is hoping he can stay ahead of the predicted snowfalls that will occur this winter.

It may not always work out that way, but he expects to see a pattern develop.

Thompson will clear snow from the sidewalks, throwing it into the streets, then coming back for another pass to get the snow away from the curb.

At that time, Dale Hanson will pass the same area with a payloader, but in the middle of the street. He will  clear the snow away from the traveling public and remove it from the downtown streets.

As it stands, Thompson says he will be clearing the sidewalks one time each time it snows and perhaps more often if it’s a major snow event.

Otherwise, it will still be up to individual business owners to remove any remaining snow from their store front... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!