TOPEKA (KSNT) – The City of Topeka said it expects its street department to be fully staffed by mid-November.
On Nov. 1, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced it was having staffing issues that have gotten worse in recent years. KDOT said it’s currently about 25% short of its preferred number of its needed snowplow operators.
Despite the state-wide issues hiring operators, the city of Topeka expects to be fully staffed and ready to address icy and snowy roads.
“This staffing level is a testament to our dedicated and hardworking employees, recent investments by the Governing Body to address wages, and other training programs that have been put in place, such as our CDL Program,” the city said in its most recent weekly report.
Topeka recently invested in a liquid brine maker – a tool to create high-concentration salt water – that it will use to pre-treat roads. The city said the tool will operate at a fraction of the cost and still be effective against ice.
“Additionally, city equipment has been prepped, and staff recently went through an annual training, which included a dry run of the zones they will be working this winter,” the city said in the weekly report.