by Michele Ploor
Hello, Town of Gardner residents. Know of someone I should talk to or have anything to share? Email me at [email protected]
Recently I had the privilege to spend some time speaking to Kevin Stauber, our town plow truck driver. Kevin has worked for the Highway Department for four years. He has also plowed the Town of Gardner for those four years.
Not only does he take care to make our winter driving safer, he’s lived in the town his whole life. He currently resides on the family farm with his wife Donna and four-year-old twins, Ryan and Megan.
I asked Kevin what he likes to do with his free time, to which he kind of chuckled. Sounds like the twins keep him pretty busy. He does find time to cash crop on the farm in the summer. This farm has been in his family for 100-plus years. If you ask me, that’s pretty amazing!
So, I’ve always been curious about the big orange trucks and their drivers. Kevin only plows the Town of Gardner, no other towns. On an average it takes him about seven hours to plow the town’s approximately 35 miles of road. Now remember 35 really becomes 70 miles because of the down and back of every road – no wonder it takes so many hours.
County roads get plowed first, then each town sets priority roads. We only have one priority road, which is S. Stevenson Pier Road from the Mini Mart to the highway and back. Priority roads are determined by the town board and treated as an extension of the county roads by the drivers. Kevin then simply starts at one end and works his way to the other.
Ever wonder who makes the call to have our roads plowed? Well, the town chair or whomever he appoints from the board is the person that makes the call as to when the roads get plowed. The town board also decides the general rule that when there’s two inches of snow, the roads get plowed.
The biggest challenges of the job are heavy winds and freezing rain, makes sense to me.
When asked if there’s anything he would like to ask of people or let them know, he said, “Don’t follow close behind the plow trucks. They can’t see you due to the snow dust that’s kicked up. If you see an oncoming plow truck, slow way down or, better yet, stop and let the plow go by. We understand everyone has places to be, but please give us some room.”
Sounds like good advice to me. If we all slow down, don’t follow too close, and give them room, their job will be a whole lot easier and safer for them.
The town board meeting is held on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the town hall located at the corner of Four Corners Rd and County C. These meetings are always open to the public and we’d love to see you there.
The Gardner Plan Commission is looking for new members. If you’re interested in land use at all, please join us.
Reminders: You can check the Gardner town website at townofgardner.org. Here you can find contact information for town officials, garbage schedules, etc.
Now you get out there and make it a great day!