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City of Columbus Snow Removal Plan Earns American Public Works Association National Award For Excellence

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2015

Melanie Crabill, Public Service, (614) 645-0449
Laura Bynum, APWA, (202) 218-6736 
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The City of Columbus’ snow and ice control plan and snow removal efforts have earned the American Public Works Association’s national Award for Excellence.  The snow and ice control plan is the City’s guide for providing residents efficient and timely snow removal.  The APWA award was created to promote excellence in public sector snow and ice operations management and administration, and best practices in snow and ice removal that minimize environmental effects.  


“We continue to invest in planning, equipment and state-of-the-art technology to give our Snow Warriors the best resources for fighting whatever nature throws at us each winter,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.  “I am proud that APWA has honored the hard work that goes on year-round to keep Columbus streets safe during winter storms.”


City’s snow and ice removal plan’s top priority is safety of the public.  The APWA award lauds the plan’s main goals:

  • Reduce life threatening and injury-producing conditions
  • Reduce damage to property
  • Reduce interruption to commerce
  • Minimize environmental effects associated with snow and ice removal

“The Public Service Department is a shining example of the innovation and professionalism our residents should expect from the City of Columbus,” said Councilmember Shannon G. Hardin, chair of the Public Service & Transportation Committee.  “These men and women work in some of the harshest conditions to improve the safety of our neighborhoods.   They deserve all the credit they are receiving in this national recognition.”

The Department of Public Service reviews and updates the plan annually, based on past performance and innovations in training, equipment and technology.   Columbus’ snow removal and treatment operations have been upgraded in the past two years to include:

  • Purchase of additional trucks, bringing the total Snow Warrior fleet in the Department of Public Service to 86 plow trucks, plus additional trucks from the Department of Public Utilities and Recreation and Parks Department that give the City a total of 145 snow plow vehicles
  • Creation of the Warrior Watch website ( that allows the media and public to see when specific streets have been plowed in the past 72 hours
  • The cross-training of additional City employees to drive snow plow trucks, bringing the total to more than 300 City employees who can be called on to help during extreme winter weather conditions.
  • The installation of GPS/AVL units with sensors on all City snow plowing trucks that provide real-time tracking of the trucks’ locations, speeds and whether their plow blades are down and salt spreaders are turned on  
  • The City’s snow plow fleet is getting greener, with more than 50% of snow plow trucks running on CNG.  The City plans to convert the entire fleet to CNG-powered trucks within the next four years.

The award will be presented to the City at APWA’s 2015 North American Snow Conference that will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 12-15.  APWA is a not-for-profit international organization with more than 29,500 members, including municipal, county and state public works agencies nationwide.  APWA’s headquarters are in Kansas City, Missouri; the organization also has an office in Washington, D.C.