Otter Tail County Board approves snow removal policy

City snowplow crews 2019

County commissioners, in coordination with County Highway Engineer Chuck Grotte, on Nov. 3 approved winter snow removal policies for 2020-21.

Snow removal will begin, in the judgment of the county engineer in coordination with the highway maintenance supervisor, when the accumulation of snow reaches a point where it inhibits traffic flow or starts to compact on highways.

“The normal snow plowing start time will be 3 a.m.,” Grotte told county board members. “Snow plowing will continue as visibility allows.”

Mailboxes and fences damaged during snow removal will be evaluated case by case.

“Only those mailboxes that were properly located and installed, and which were damaged by actual contact with county equipment, will be repaired at the county’s expense,” Grotte said.


County board members, in consultation with Grotte, emphasize that the goal of county government is keep people moving safely along county roads during the winter months.

Chuck Grotte.jpg
Otter Tail County Engineer Chuck Grotte

Otter Tail County, with a population of more than 58,000 people, is larger in size than the state of Rhode Island.

“We’re responsible for maintaining 2,100 lane miles of roadway,” Grotte says.

County board members praise county maintenance workers, noting that the county is 42 miles from north to south and 54 miles from west to east.

Primary materials used to maintain county roads during the winter months include salt, magnesium chloride and sand.

“Showfall rates, road surface conditions and visibility will result in adjustments in snow plowing start and stop times,” Grotte said.

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