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Snow melter to improve city snow operations

The snow melting machine the city agreed to buy last fall has finally arrived.

Alderman Ann Rainey posted the following on her 8th Ward message board late yesterday.

Evanston, Ill. – With snowfalls like the one that covered the North
Shore during the second week of December, it was no wonder why Evanston
City officials welcomed the arrival of the City’s very own portable snow
melter last Friday.

The unit, which the City ordered back in September, will melt 60 tons of
snow per hour and save the municipality the challenges and costs of
hauling and disposing of snow.

“We estimate the cost of having a contractor haul snow for us during a
major storm ranging from $12,000 per night to about $28,000 depending on
the intensity of the storm,” said Director of Public Works David
Jennings.

Jennings said this amount is to clear the Downtown Business District
area and reflects the cost of handling and hauling snow only.

“The City still needs to provide a place to dump the snow when a
contractor hauls it,” he said.

The unit, which has a 40-year life expectancy, will accept snow from the
buckets of City front-end loaders and guide the melted snow directly
into the City’s storm sewer system.

In 2004, the city rented a 40-ton per hour portable snow melter. The
unit provided satisfactory results; however, snow crews found that they
could load the melter faster than the machine could actually melt the
snow and ice, so the City opted to purchase the larger unit.

Snow crews also found that the hopper size of the larger unit was a
better fit for the City’s front-end loader buckets, resulting in more
efficient operations and less spillage of snow on the street.

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