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Worker shortage impacting local municipal snowplowing

Private contractors hope for snowy winter to boost revenue
Posted at 10:18 PM, Dec 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-09 23:18:12-05

GREEN BAY — While many look forward to snow covering the ground around the holidays, others are determined to make sure it stays off of area roads.

Steve Grenier is the the Director of Public Works in Green Bay and has been a part of the city's snow removal process for several years. He says that the snowplow driver shortage is something that many municipalities have faced for the last few years.

"It's not so much that we have a snowplow driver shortage it's more so just a general workforce issue that a lot of municipalities and private industry are dealing with," said Grenier.

Grenier says that the main problem is there's fewer and fewer long time DPW workers in many cities. He says that instead of having employees stay for decades, they're regularly filling spots.

"If we have staff turnover we're constantly bringing new people in, they're relearning these routes so it kind of cuts into our efficiency. That's the biggest negative we see," said Grenier.

While Grenier says it's his job to battle the snow, Ryan Healy embraces all of the wintry weather that can impact Northeast Wisconsin.

Healy is the owner of Healy and Son Lawn Care and does snow removal in winter. He says they try to set expectations low each winter so they don't have to rely on mother nature for business.

"It's really important to keep our guys working through the winter time. We do budget throughout the year to prepare for a light winter," said Healy.

Healy says that by treating the snow season as a bonus, it helps them prepare for their main season in the spring.

"It does help to kind of offset that big expense we have in the springtime, you know ordering fertilizer and getting all of that equipment ready," said Healy.