The business of local government operations is 24/7. No, we’re not Las Vegas. No neon lights or blackjack tables. However, we are working around the clock to keep services going under any circumstances. So last night, while you were sleeping, we were communicating about weather conditions and snow removal operations, with an emphasis on YOUR safety. During snow events, our everyday heroes list is clearly expanded. When we think of local heroes, our thoughts go to Police Officers and Firefighters. Everyone knows that when you need one, you certainly want them to arrive quickly. But the people who spring into action when there is a big event caused by Mother Nature, are the men and women of the Department of Public Works. Yes, Police and Fire are no doubt still on duty, but they can’t get anywhere without great struggle if the DPW is not out clearing streets. All through the night, these DPW employees are coming and going on various shifts, making sure the snow removal efforts don’t skip a beat. Weather conditions are constantly monitored and the Police, Fire and DPW are working together to track the snowfall to determine the best times to conduct their work. For example, there are very specific conditions as to when you start spreading salt on the roads. Under some conditions it’s better to wait for salt and utilize the traction of snow. Yes, there is a method to all of it. And the DPW may also be faced with other significant challenges during these severe weather events, such as water main breaks that force employees to dig up the earth, get down into a water-filled excavation, and repair the water main so that your sinks and shower operate and your toilets flush. Gives a whole new perspective on the function of the DPW, doesn’t it? I know that when I arrived at the office this morning at 6:30 a.m., North Squirrel Road, University Drive, and other main roads under the local jurisdiction of the City of Auburn Hills were fully cleared. It’s always easy to know when you have arrived on an Auburn Hills roadway during a snowstorm, it will nearly always be the first to be cleared.
Great job to everyone at the Auburn Hills DPW. Last night, today and tomorrow will include a tremendous workload. Today the DPW will be getting into the neighborhoods to begin clearing those streets. Give them a wave or a thumbs up. They work very hard for the Auburn Hills community and always appreciate the recognition they get from residents for a job well done. Yes, that’s what they’re paid to do . . . But they happen to do it VERY WELL.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager