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Montgomery wins national award for snow and ice removal

The City of Montgomery's 17,000 Gallon Liquid Snow And Ice Treatment System

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "It's a great honor for the city, it's a tribute to our staff, and it's a tribute to our city council and administration for the support they give us," said Brian Riblet, the City of Montgomery Public Works Director.

While winter weather may be the last thing on your mind in April, the City of Montgomery received a big award from the American Public Works Association this past weekend for their efforts during the coldest months of year.

Riblet said, "We were recognized on a national level with an award of excellence in snow and ice control."

Winning a national award requires careful planning and execution of that plan, including monitoring changing conditions and overcoming challenges.

"We certainly use temperature as a main focal point, but depending on the conditions, road conditions, future forecasts, time of day, is it sunny, is it not sunny, things like those factors all contribute to our decision making when we attack a winter storm."

Back in 2009, the price of salt put on roads for winter treatment tripled, and that forced the City of Montgomery to get creative and figure out how they were going to remove snow and ice. It involved more than just Ice Magic; it involved some innovation.

"We looked into liquid alternatives and settled in on a 17,000 gallon system that involves a variety of salt brines and a combination of that liquid with a product that's called Ice Magic - which is really a distilled corn syrup. It's environmentally friendly, and it will activate our salt to temperatures of 32 degrees below zero," said Riblet.

Knowledge of chemistry, meteorology, and planning help keep snow and ice off of the roads. Winning a national award for public works operations requires outstanding communications.

Riblet explained, "We take great pride in our communication efforts. We use social media we use our Montgomery bulletin that goes out monthly to publish our articles about snow-related operations. We're constantly in communications with Sycamore Schools. We know that it's a priority for us to keep our roadways clean and safe not only for our motorists and traveling public but also for the school system to make good decisions on whether or not to have school, delay, or cancel."

Despite the recognition on the national stage, the City of Montgomery will spend the warmest months of the year preparing for the coldest.

"We're always looking for cutting edge technology. What is the latest trend, and how can we look for those opportunities to continue to get better?" said Riblet.

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