Smaller cities have same tough task of clearing roads

Smaller cities have same tough task of clearing roads

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - When winter weather hits, smaller cities have to work to clear city streets as well.

You hear a lot about big cities and counties working to clear roads, but smaller cities are held to the same standards just without all the resources.

The nearly 2,500 citizens in Brookland expect roads to be clear just like anywhere else.

Kenneth Jones, Brookland mayor, said weather like this basically shuts the city down.

"We are a municipality that is small," Jones said. "We have a limited amount of equipment. So what we try to do is we try to hit the main travel roads first."

Brookland does its best to meet the expectations, but it must get by with a lot less help than bigger cities.

"We have two full-time and two part-time, and then the utilities workers and myself get out and help," Jones said. "Yesterday, we were all out on equipment trying to help."

Jones said the city recently invested in a new T-650 Bobcat that has made an extraordinary difference when it comes to clearing ice and snow. Along with the Bobcat, a salt truck was out helping to clear subdivisions. Animal Control even helped to monitor traffic as a tractor worked to  remove snow piles from driveways left behind from the highway.

"Most traveled streets and then our bus routes," Jones said. "Of course we didn't think Brookland Schools would be in today, but normally that's what we do so we can get the buses around town and get the kids back to school."

Brookland crews, like many others, work 12 hour shifts to clear streets because as Jones points out, weather like this impacts the city financially.

"Each day you lose that is revenue that you've lost and keeps you from possibly being able to buy a grater blade or some equipment that will help you in issues like this," Jones said.

But they are doing their best with the resources they do have.

"It's frustrating to us as it is to the citizens that we are unable to get there in a timely fashion, but you've got to methodically work through this, and like I said start where you will benefit the most and then work outward," Jones said.

He asks for patience as they continue to work throughout the weekend.

"They have to understand somebody's got to be first and somebody's going to be last, and we can't be everywhere at one time," Jones said.

Brookland school maintenance crews were also out Friday clearing parking lots in preparation for school on Monday.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.