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Examiner
  • Storm cost Independence $39,000 in overtime

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  • With workers from three departments taking alternate 12-hour shifts last week to clear about 8 inches of snow from Independence streets, the city accumulated $39,000 in overtime from Tuesday through Friday, according to Public Works Director John Powell.
    After last week’s storm of 7.9 inches, the Kansas City metro area has received 21.9 inches of snow this winter, already topping the 18.8 average, Powell told the City Council during Monday’s study session. Last year the area received 31.8 inches. The snowfall totals are gauged from KCI Airport, and Powell said Independence’s total from last week likely was higher.
    Personnel from the public works, water pollution control and parks and recreation departments battled the storm, he said. Sunday’s late-morning snow squall, which has not been figured into the snowfall and overtime totals, re-activated those 12-hour shifts.
    “There’s still a lot to do,” Powell said. “There’s intersections to clear and piles to remove.
    “This particular storm was made more difficult by blowing snow, causing us to go back over streets. It’s been very cold, which limits the effectiveness of salt.”
    Powell said the city employed its full 22-truck fleet and used about 500 tons each of salt and sand with this storm. Supplies of those remain good for a few more storms, but the city might replenish before the end of the season, he added.
    Responding to a request for clarification from the council, Powell said citizens who call the city asking about snow removal shouldn’t expect a return call unless there are further questions. Also, with temperatures well below freezing and sometimes not much sunlight, citizens shouldn’t expect to see bare pavement after city plows go over streets that don’t experience heavy traffic.
    “When it’s this cold, in residential areas and side streets without much traffic, it’s not possible,” he said.
    Emergency Preparedness Manager Frank Coots said city workers suffered no injuries in dealing with the storm.
    “That is directly attributed to citizens staying at home and heeding the weather warnings,” he said.
    “This winter storm was a best-practices scenario for the city and its citizens.”
    Also Monday, the Council approved the application of KC Lodge Ventures II, LLC for a liquor license for the Twin Peaks Restaurant, 19821 E. Jackson Drive. The applicant purchased the former Romano’s Macaroni Grill building, vacant since 2008, and is remodeling to open the new sports bar/restaurant. Twin Peaks operates 49 restaurants across the country, according to Council agenda item.
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