Van Buren handling snow removal one step at a time

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:00 PM EST
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VAN BUREN, Maine (WAGM) - It might have been a little later this winter season, but the snow has certainly arrived. Leaving communities the task of moving that snow. News Source 8′s Isaac Potter sits down with a local town manager to learn how they are handling snow removal.

It was a slow start to the winter in the town of Van Buren, but with the past few snow storms the snow has definitely arrived.

Luke Dyer, Town Manager for Van Buren, says“We really didn’t have a pile of snow until really after Christmas which is unusual for us. Especially for our snowmobilers, we were getting a little worried for them, but now the last two storms have been pretty significant and it’s definitely blanketed the area with snow.”

Dyer says the highway crew has done a great job removing the snow from the roads.

Luke Dyer: “When you get four or five inches of snow, it is not that difficult for them to get out and get it all picked up, get it plowed, keep the roads cleared. When you get 18 inches, it is a whole different story. That usually leaves to some pretty long days for our highway crew, it is only a five person crew with a couple of part timers on top of that. So not a lot of bodies out there trying to clean off the snow for amount roadways that we do have here in Van Buren. But they have managed to stay on top of it, they have had a couple of 18 hour days which is pretty rugged for our crew but they seem to be in good spirits.”

When there is a lot of snow, it can sometimes be challenging to figure out where to dump the snow. Dyer says they were able to inherit a few properties after the flood in Van Buren a few years ago.

Luke Dyer: “Van Buren has a few properties that we own that we use as snow dumps, and so we haul all our snow from Main Street. Nothing is left on the Main Street, we do haul some snow off the side streets, but not all the streets have their banks all the way. So that can be a challenge, because you certainly don’t want to be dedicating useful property for just winter uses for a snow dump, but that’s what has to happen.”

Dyer adds the community has been understanding and patient while they have been removing the snow.

Luke Dyer: “Van Buren is made up of a bunch of Northern Mainers, they know it is going to snow. They know it takes work to get it all cleaned up, and they have been very patient. For the most part, when the rigs are out there working, our townspeople stay off the road. They know it does interfere with the course of picking up the snow and plowing the snow.”

He is extremely thankful to have a dedicated crew working together to keep the roads safe. Isaac Potter News Source 8.