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Township Offers Tips For Snow Removal

Township Administrator Anthony Cancro has shared the following tips for using a snow blower safely and efficiently.

  1. Know which way the wind (and snow) blows. The first step in successful snow blowing is to blow snow with the wind, never against it. While this sounds simple, implementing this will ensure that you don't have to keep re-doing the same areas over and over. This direction may change often during a session, even during the same pass, so constantly adjust your approach accordingly.
  2. Once you have a handle on the wind, plan in advance where the snow will be piled up. Consider that the snow will need to be piled in the same areas each snowfall, so it may get very high over time. This height can present safety and security issues, so care needs to be taken to avoid making a mound of problems.
  • Take into account your and your neighbor's need to see street traffic when piling snow at the end of your driveway. It may be necessary to divert piles to other parts of the yard to prevent sight obstruction.
  • Be careful about piling snow against your house. Piling snow high against your home's foundation may lead to flooding problems when it starts to melt.
  • Take weight of the pile into consideration if piling large amounts of snow on structures or plantings.
  • Be mindful not to blow snow directly at buildings, vehicles, or into the street because the snow blower may pick up and throw rocks and other debris as well as DPW having to re-plow your street again.
  • Keep kids in mind when piling up snow; be sure that there are no potential traps for them to fall into or from, and that the pile is not making it difficult to see kids walking around on the sidewalk, etc.

3. Decide on a pattern. You can waste a lot of time going over areas more than once as a result of not planning your clearing pattern well. Your best pattern will depend on wind speed and direction, how powerful your machine is (how far it is capable of throwing the snow), and the moisture content of the snow. Bear in mind that your goal is to throw the snow one time only.

Try to avoid throwing snow onto an area, especially in the street, that you'll be making a future pass over. Instead, always get the snow off the area to be cleared and onto its final resting area with each pass. This may be done with a left to right (or vice versa) pattern, or starting in the middle of the area and working each side alternately. Adjust the chute direction and height as often as necessary to get the snow to its final home with every single pass. Be diligent about this.

4. Prepare the snow blower. Be sure to check the condition of the snow blower before using it and check the following:

  • Fill the machine with fuel before starting, to avoid breaking your routine and walking back to your garage just to re-fuel. This should be done outdoors to prevent vapor build-up. Do not add fuel to a hot engine; a snow blower's engine must be cooled down first.
  • Check the machine's oil before every use (applies 4 cycle engines). Snow blowers can often burn oil without smoking, and the lack of the proper amount and/or correct type of oil can kill your machine quickly.
  • Check that your own clothes are tucked in so that they can't get caught up in the blower and wear gloves to protect your hands and earplugs to minimize the noise, if needed. And even though it's not often talked about, safety glasses should be worn when snow blowing. It's very easy to get debris thrown back in your face under the right conditions. Finally, wear cleats to ensure that you don't slip over when handling the snow blower.
  • If snow blowing near traffic, be aware that you might not hear traffic over the noise, so either keep a constant eye out or have a helper spot traffic and alert you, as well as wearing brightly colored clothing. Again do not blow snow into the roadway.
  • Know how to use your snow blower correctly. Before using a snow blower for the first time, read through the user manual thoroughly. Once you're outside, adjust the snow blower chute to ensure that it will blow the snow in the direction you've chosen, but not into the street. Start the snow blower according the manufacturer's instructions and begin clearing the first path, keeping both hands on the snow blower at all times. Only clear ice and snow; slush can clog a snow blower.
  • When snow blowing, always be careful to avoid obstructions such as hoses and taps, water features, statues, toys, branches, and cords, etc. These can become projectiles in the path of a snow blower.
  • Ensure that there is adequate light to work by. If you need a spotlight, be sure to turn it on.
  • While snow blowing, be aware that the machine can stop abruptly if it encounters cracks or uneven spots in the ground's surface. This may cause you to run into the machine's controls due to your forward momentum. Try to keep your arms extended a good distance from your body, to give you more reaction time if the machine stops moving forward abruptly due to unseen obstructions.
  • Leave the shoveling for after the snow blower has had its way with your property. It's easier to use the power of the machine to remove 95 percent of the snowfall as efficiently as possible, and then clean up the porches and other areas inaccessible by the blower afterward. You should not slow the machine's operation just to avoid blowing snow on a previously shoveled area, as this is very counter- productive.
  • Run the blower. At the end of using the snow blower, allow it to run for a few minutes to remove the snow build-up. This will help to dry it out before returning it to storage.
dur February 14, 2013 at 03:54 PM
This is all great information but I only have a shovel and I've been staring at the snow not knowing which way to throw it. Please write an article explaining how to shovel snow.
BART FRAENKEL February 14, 2013 at 04:31 PM
You're wrong, the lawyer that was used was the Township Attorney, Jeffrey Lehrer, who lists one of his areas of expertise as land use. But apparently not expert enough to have done due diligence in this situation. The question the township should ask is whether we have legal recourse against him since regardless of whether anyone is or isn't in favor of the turf field project, the township is now financially committed to it by way of the bond ordinance that was approved last year. My understanding is it is the attorney's responsibility to make sure everything is in order before allowing the governing body to proceed with their vote, so why wasn't the issue that has come up known before the vote?
BART FRAENKEL February 14, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Certain people are already removing posts after an anonymous poster brought up the issue of the land swap between the BOE and TC. In today's issue of The Local Source, the article states that not only is the deal no longer going through, but apparently some elected officials were aware that the land being offered by the BOE was contaminated prior to the bond ordinance vote. Whoever knew about this had an obligation to the residents of Springfield to make everyone aware of the situation prior to the vote. While I am 100% in favor of the turf field, if what was stated in the Local Source article is correct, then some people have a lot of explaining to do.
Toniann Antonelli (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Bart - Not sure if you meant to post your comment on this article regarding snow removal, or if was meant for another story? Just want to make sure your comments are posted in the appropriate place :)
BART FRAENKEL February 14, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Yes, they were because someone else had posted a comment about the Turf Field issue, but it was already removed despite not being improper. So my comment, standing alone looks out of place. But thank you anyway.
Sprinfield Resident tired of the bickering February 14, 2013 at 09:07 PM
I agree with you Bart. It is egregious if ANY elected official (including the BoE) had any knowledge of this. The BoE is the guardian of the largest part of our taxes and should be held just as accountable. It goes beyond reason that testing the ground wasn't part (the 1st part especially based upon the location and what happened at Meisel field) of the negotiations. I never thought to even ask this question as I would have thought the town would have done their due diligence. This should be investigated fully and any elected official who had knowledge of this should be held accountable. As far as the attorney who guided the TC through this process should be held to even higher standard as he was an expert in this area (land usage). I am a big proponent of the turf field and expected our elected officials to look after the best interest of the town. The financial part made sense as long as all the 'buts' were known.
Bob Groder February 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Hi Bart, I am furious about the turf field issue & Its funny I found out about this having lunch about 10 days ago in the sub shop from you but I refused to comment on it until more facts come out. Since all I had was here-say but now the article in the source I will say my 2 cents. #1 if any official ( republican or democrat) knew about the contaminated land then this was a bad deal. Since EVERYONE knows this was Shehadys deal with the BOE as he pushed it hard and made all sorts of promises about money coming into the town I feel he should step down from the committee as he once pledged during his speech if it didn't pass. If he had bothered to research this better or hired a better land lawyer as whomever they used in 2012 didn't do a good job , Springfield wouldn't be in such trouble like we are now with this. MANY PEOPLE spoke out at early meetings including myself on this asking for a referendum asking the voters to vote for it. It wouldn't have passed to they had to come up with a way to make it legal to do without making it a requirement to get a vote. They did need 1 of the democrats to vote for it & they convinced the democrats that this was a good thing for the town. WHERE WAS THE PROPER RESEARCH? I wasn't for it last year & said it should wait for # 1 a better economy, # 2 do enough research to make sure its the most economical way to do things. I am convinced that the BOE & whomever they were dealing with knew about the contaminated land.
Bob Groder February 15, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Your comment doesnt stand along any longer Bart. I agree with you on this one. I dont always agree with you but most of the time I honestly can say I do. If Marc & ziad feel its in the towns best interests to circulate a petition trying to get Mr. Barnett to step down over other issues why cant the same be done about this when it comes to Mr. Shehady? I want to hear his explanation on this issue at the next TC meeting before I pass any further judgement. This is after all about lots of wasted money now being spent since income the town was expecting to get can no longer come in.
Bob Groder February 15, 2013 at 03:11 PM
The former attorney should pay back all of the fees he earned in 2012 for his mismanagement of this land swap deal. He was way overpaid when they snuck in extra monies for him late in the calander year.
Kari February 16, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Why is this story NOT being reported in The Patch? Why do I have to read about it in the comments section in an article about Snow Removal???!!! This is big news! I knew it was B.S. when it was stated that taxes would only go up $35 or $40 dollars a year when they go up $500 a year for NO REASON. All the people of Springfield need to be aware of this, not just the ones who are willing to go digging through the Local Source for it! This is despicable.
BART FRAENKEL February 18, 2013 at 03:42 AM
It's unfortunate that all the taxpayers are going to foot the bill on this one because many people didn't want the turf field. I'm part of the group that won't mind paying the increased taxes to pay for the field because I feel it will be beneficial for the community in many ways. But there are many senior citizens who can't afford the increase and others who don't see the need. The travesty of this issue is that some people were aware of the problem with the land (being contaminated) and failed to tell the others who were involved in this decision to proceed. I don't know who knew and who didn't, but at this point the bond ordinance was approved and we will have a turf field, so the only thing left to do is to find out who is responsible for failing in their fiduciary responsibility to the residents and make sure whoever was responsible is held accountable.
Kari February 18, 2013 at 04:16 AM
Bart, it's not only seniors who can't afford the increase in taxes, it's everybody. This whole thing stunk to the heavens from the start. How do you find out who knew what and when, and then how do you make them accountable? Is it a foregone conclusion that the taxpayers have to foot the bill under these circumstances?
Kari February 18, 2013 at 04:16 AM
And why isn't the Patch reporting this?
BART FRAENKEL February 18, 2013 at 04:18 PM
While it will increase everyone's taxes, there are some people who are in favor of the turf field, at any cost. So those people can't be included as part of the group who can't afford it. Unlike many other people, I'm part of the group that is willing to afford it, but I definitely don't like the shenanigans that went on to get this pushed through. This issue should definitely be investigated because there's a huge difference between not knowing certain information and not being made aware of the information once it was known. At the very least, the attorney used should have made sure his due diligence was sufficient to confirm the absence or presence of contamination on the land. The County made that one of their first questions, so why wasn't it one of many questions asked by our attorney?
James February 18, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Patch has always been biased not toward Republicans but Shehady and Fernandez. They've been the darlings for a long time. If the original article by Cheryl Hehl is so biased then let's get the truth out. There needs to be an investigation and Sablosky needs to be called in to question too.
Stan B February 18, 2013 at 09:52 PM
By keeping the contamination secret, the township committee didn't have all of the facts needed to make a good decision. Suppose Huber and Amlen had known that the cost would be 1 Million dollars more than they were told. Would they still have voted in favor?
BART FRAENKEL February 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM
No one knows the answer to that. However, if anyone knew about the contamination and that includes TC or BOE members, it was their fiduciary responsibility to the residents of Springfield to make sure that information was provided to the people who were charged with making the final voting decision. That, to me, is the primary issue.

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