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MADISON, Wis. - Through much of the fall and the start of winter, snowplows have been sitting quietly in maintenance garages. 

There was little reason for them to be used, because in December the area received only one-tenth of an inch of snow.

“I’ve never seen our snowplow fleet look this good in January.  They are completely ready to go.  There is no wear and tear.  All of the maintenance problems that we have to go through we haven’t had to do,” said George Dreckmann, a coordinator for the City of Madison Streets and Recycling.

That may be about to change.  A winter storm is moving into the Upper Midwest and is expected to bring freezing rain and snow to Wisconsin.  In advance of the storm, Madison pretreated main arteries with a salt brine solution. 

“If it is a very light amount of snow, the salt brine may be all we need to put down to keep the main streets open, but if we get more snow then we’ll be bringing in crews and working on salt routes,” Dreckmann said.

From a financial standpoint, the timing of this storm is beneficial for Madison.  Paying for snow and ice removal with the storm will be less of a concern, as the city’s new fiscal budget began on Jan. 1.

“Last year in the first three months of the year we went through our snow and ice budget completely and we were hoping we didn’t have to dip into the city’s reserve, and we didn’t,” Dreckmann said.Snowplows prepare for winter blast

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