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Burr Ridge crews ready for whatever winter brings

<p>Snow removal in Burr Ridge &mdash; Sun-Times Media file photo</p>

Snow removal in Burr Ridge — Sun-Times Media file photo

After a mild season last year, winter 2013-14 is off to a more typical start, said Burr Ridge Public Works Director Paul May.

Burr Ridge’s fleet of snow plows hit the streets for the first time this season Sunday. That’s more than a month earlier than the first snow event of last winter.

“We started plowing at about 2 p.m.,” said May.

Burr Ridge’s crew of 19 plow drivers are always at the ready to respond when the flakes begin to fall.

“They’re on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” May said.

A maximum of nine drivers — one of each of the village’s plows — work 12-hour shifts during a snow event, but work begins even before the snow falls.

When word comes of a potential snow event, crews get busy fueling up the plows and filling the salt trucks.

May said the Public Works Department then sits back and waits for the Police Department to notify them that the streets are in need of attention.

“They’re out there on the streets. They know the conditions,” May said. “We really rely on them.”

Last year’s mild winter meant fewer overtime hours for snow plow drivers, less fuel needed to run the plows, and it saved the village nearly $30,000 in salt purchases. With 600 tons left over, the village bought only half of its usual supply for this winter.

With 1,200 tons of salt and a fleet of plows at the ready, the village is prepared to handle whatever the coming season brings.

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