Leverage for Efficiency, Accountability and Performance (LEAP) Fund for performance audits
Snow and Ice Control
APWA Accreditation Program
The American Public Works Association (APWA) Accreditation Program provides a means of formally verifying and recognizing public works agencies for compliance with the recommended practices set forth in the Public Works Management Practices Manual. It is a voluntary, self-motivated approach to objectively evaluate, verify and recognize compliance with the recommended management practices.
The objectives of the accreditation program are to create an impetus for organization self-improvement and motivate higher standards. The program also recognizes good performance and provides motivation to maintain and improve performance. Finally, it helps improve public works performance and increases the professionalism of the services provided.
The accreditation process includes a self assessment - a valuable tool for determining how an agency’s policies, procedures and practices compare to recommended practices identified by nationally recognized experts in the field of public works. Agencies can use the recommended practices as a model for developing, or improving existing practices, to enhance performance and increase productivity. The self-assessment also helps agencies improve budgeting, identify operation and management needs and identify duplication and wasted effort.
Snow and Ice Control
One key portion of the self assessment and best practices manual is snow and ice control and formalized snow and ice control plans.
According to APWA, a good snow and ice control plan includes policies and procedures for the following: storm warning notification; personnel scheduling; mobilization; snow and ice control material guidelines and application; equipment preparation; equipment calibration; snow route assignment; material loading; spreading and plowing; snow storage plan; snow operation damage; and parking control.
Preparation for snow and ice control begins well in advance of the winter season. During the off-season, snow and ice control vehicles and equipment are inspected and maintained, and personnel are trained in the operation of equipment and in the concepts behind winter control measures related to the use of equipment and application of materials.
When winter begins, local governments must accurately identify approaching storms by obtaining advanced storm warnings from either a professional meteorological service or other sources of supplemental weather data. This information is also used to understand the variable conditions each storm will present. Based on this information and the formal policies and procedures for snow and ice control, local governments are better prepared to address winter road conditions in an efficient and effective manner.
Three Ohio Communities Establish Accredited Snow and Ice Control Plans
There are three AWPA accredited public works departments in Ohio: Dublin, Westerville, and Fairfield. However, several other Ohio cities have adopted model snow and ice control plans.
The focus on snow and ice control is a result of Ohio’s geography and the considerable expenditures northern cities make on snow removal and ice control (salt and brining). These cities (Dublin, Westerville, and Fairfield) have established effective snow and ice control plans with control measures that establish level of service requirements for arterials, collectors, and residential streets. Procedures establish and detail the amount of time required to complete the removal effort, and specify personnel, equipment, and materials to meet prescribed service levels.
City Uses Self-Assessment Tool, Follows Best Practices
City of Shaker Heights
The City of Shaker Heights used the APWA self-assessment process to ensure it follows best management practices in managing the snow and ice control activities.
- City of Highland Park, Illinois: APWA accredited on June 4, 2008.
- Village of Schaumburg, Illinois: APWA accredited on December 15, 1997, Re-Accredited in 2001, 2006, and 2010.
- City of Greeley, Colorado: APWA accredited on December 15, 1997. Re-Accredited in 2000, 2004, and 2008.
- The American Public Works Association (APWA) Accreditation Program
- APWA Public Works Best Management Practices Manual