A New Way of Snow Removal in Olathe, Kansas

Over the Christmas and new year weekends of 2010, several snowstorms passed through Eastern Kansas and left Olathe’s snow removal program with plenty of work to do. The program was not structured to address such large amounts of snowfall at continued levels. Overtime budgets were blown, premiums on salt were paid, and citizens were angry with snow removal efforts to over 1,300 lane miles of streets in Olathe.  Because of the holiday/weekend timeframe, citizens would call city hall and never speak to an actual person, only voice recordings.  The severity of the storms in combination with delayed callouts (budget decisions) resulted in streets not being plowed as well as expected and crews not being able to keep up with the snowfall. Several program shortcomings were exposed during the inundation of snow. The City of Olathe remains committed to setting the standard in customer service. Almost immediately, staff began working on a revised plan to address the program. Utilizing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Unified Command  protocol, the City of Olathe quickly created a pre-determined, hierarchical response system to address all snow events in the City

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