Surplus snowplow with deicer better equipped for winter in Libby

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In preparation for winter, the city of Libby recently purchased two surplus plow trucks from the state, including one that can also deice roads.

City Administrator Jim Hammons said the latter truck is better than the deice-only vehicle it replaces.

“The benefit to having a plow on the deice truck is the operator can plow the street and lay deice down at the same time,” Hammons wrote in a report presented Monday night at the Libby City Council meeting. “The old (deice) truck never had a plow and a lot of times there could be two to six inches of snow on the street. Lying down deice at an intersection in that much snow would make a lot of slush and was not effective.”

Hammons added that the “cities old deice truck was worn out and had a lot of issues. We were fortunate it lasted as long as it did.”

When deicing material is spread on a freshly plowed road, Hammons reported it “will last longer and make the intersections safer.”

In a follow-up email, Hammons wrote that the city has another truck that plows and also puts down “ice slicer,” a material similar to rock salt that melts ice when it’s too cold for the deice solution to work.

The two trucks, which cost $5,500 each, were formerly used by the Montana Department of Transportation.

The city also added a Volvo front-end loader to its snow-removal equipment, which now comprises three truck plows, two front-end loaders and a road grader that is used to plow with, Hammons wrote.

The city retired three plow trucks it will try to sell.

Also in preparation for winter, Hammons wrote that crews turned off sprinkler systems at Fireman’s Park, Riverfront Park, the Libby Cemetery and along Lincoln Boulevard and winterized public bathrooms.

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