Snow Plowing

Standard Operating Procedures

The removal of snow and ice from the county’s roadways is one of the most important jobs confronting us, the County Maintenance Department, during the winter months.  The safety and comfort of the public shall at all times be the primary consideration of all county maintenance personnel.  Snow and ice removal operations must be conducted in such a manner so as to provide the safest and most economical operation as possible.  The following policies are general in nature and will not cover all situations encountered while snow plowing.  During the winter season Beltrami County Highway Department will be responsible for over 700 miles of county roads, 300 miles of township roads.

Priorities

In order to complete our plowing in the most economical and efficient manner consistent with our responsibilities, the following plowing priorities must be observed by all crews.
1st priority:  All black top roads starting with collector areas close to town and working out towards the rural areas thereafter.
2nd priority:  All gravel county roads.
3rd priority:  All township roads

Procedure

1. Snow removal shall begin when accumulation reaches a point where it inhibits traffic flow or is liable to compact on the black top.  1" wet heavy snow or 2" light fluffy snow will be the general rule of thumb.

2. Snowplows usually will not be dispatched until after a snowfall has ceased.  Normal snow removal operations begin between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.  Once operations have begun they will continue until all roads are cleared.  The plows may be called back in due to extremely hazardous conditions such as restricted visibility or dangerously low temperatures.  During extended periods of snowfall, exceptions will be made at the supervisor’s discretion.

THE COUNTY DOES NOT ASSURE A COMPLETELY BARE ROAD AND USUALLY WILL NOT SAND ENTIRE SECTIONS OF THE ROADWAY EXCEPT IN THE EVENT OF AN ICE STORM.  USERS OF THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM ARE REMINDED TO EXERCISE CAUTION AND DRIVE WITH CARE.  THE LEGAL SPEED LIMIT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE AT ALL TIMES.