Madison snow plow

A city of Madison truck plows North Park Street during a snowstorm.

Q Where does the city put snow it removes from the Downtown and from street medians?

A When the snow piles high, it can’t always be plowed to the side, so the city’s snow fleet must move it to another location.

Unfortunately for the city, though, finding suitable locations is not always easy.

“It can be a very difficult challenge,” said Madison Streets and Recycling Department spokesman George Dreckmann. “With the parking utility removing snow from its ramps — their stuff is being taken out there at night. That means back-up alarms in the middle of the night. So, it’s not a welcome sound.”

City crews had been using land next to Garver Feed Mill, 109 S. Fair Oaks Ave., but a pending redevelopment plan for the 110-year-old former U.S. Sugar Beet Co. facility has made the property unavailable to the city.

Bowman Park, 1775 Fish Hatchery Road, is also used for snow dumping.

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Dreckmann said during a normal winter, a “mini mountain” emerges in the parking lots between the softball diamonds and the woods.

But with the loss of Garver, the plowing crews will temporarily dump snow at the former Cub Foods site on Nakoosa Trail, which is slated as the future home of the city’s new Fleet Services building.

The city has also discussed using Snow Dragon melters that would allow crews to dump snow into a hopper, melt it on site, and funnel it down street drains. Dreckmann said the city has allotted money in future budgets for one of the machines, but added it is reluctant to widely use the machines because they are inefficient.

“It just uses all kinds of diesel fuel. It’s something you don’t want to do from an environmental standpoint unless you have to,” Dreckmann said. “We may end up going in that direction because we’re not able to find reasonably accessible alternatives.”

Send questions to: justaskus@madison.com; Just Ask Us, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI 53708.

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Send questions to: justaskus@madison.com; Just Ask Us, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI 53708.