Wilton may benefit from regional study of snow plowing

Snow and winter plowing may seem a long way off in these late summer days, but it is a subject on the mind of officials in the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.

The regional agency, based in Newtown, is working on a Snow Removal Operations, Management and Routing Study that was funded by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, aimed at improving regional performance.

The goal is to provide long-term cost savings to the 18 municipalities in the Western Connecticut region while improving overall efficiency of the municipal snow removal systems, said Kristin Floberg, project manager.

Municipal specific recommendations are still in-process at this time. When they become available, the Wilton Department of Public Works can decide if any of the suggestions made in the study can be pursued further,” Floberg said in an email, when asked about the study.

Each municipality worked with the consultant, Axiomatic LLC, to adjust snow removal routes using route optimization software, FleetRoute by C2Logix. Preliminary findings have shown that many of the small- to medium-sized municipalities already have very close to optimized routes, while many of the larger municipalities, with more than 25 routes, found efficiencies by adjusting their routes.

“A balanced routing system creates cost savings for the municipality by reducing the total miles traveled. This is done by minimizing double backing or deadheading streets that have been or will be plowed by a different vehicle,” Floberg said.

The local and professional knowledge of municipal staff was essential in finding these efficiencies, she said.

Municipalities will also have access to the region-wide best management practices guide for the use of salt and other deicing materials and a region-wide operations guide.

These guides provide the snow removal professionals in the region with some of the most current guidance available in the industry.

“We are grateful for the support and expertise the public works and highway departments in the region have shared during this study. It has been a successful process because of their insight and collaboration,” Floberg said.