Harsh winter season taking toll on Parks Dept.

St. Joseph Parks and Recreation is starting to feel effects from this year's harsh winter

Posted: Feb 17, 2019 11:34 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2019 11:50 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Across St. Joseph and throughout Northwest Missouri old man winter has made his presence known.

"As far as the weather goes, this has obviously been a much more harsh winter than we’ve had in the last few years." Chuck Kempf, director, St. Joseph Parks Department said. 

Kempf said it’s gotten so bad they’ve started feeling some of the effects.

"In our cleanup efforts from last weekend's snow, we had two pieces of equipment that break down," Kempf said.

Their equipment, the director says has been put to work more this season because of all the snow, that equipment not just responsible for clearing the park trails but also buildings the parks department is responsible for.

"We’ve got around ten businesses that we operate," Kempf said. 

As each winter storm dumps more and more snow, perhaps the biggest problem for the Parks Dept. is the overtime collected by its staff.

"[Overtime] can be very challenging on the budget," Kempf said. "It can affect the hours that they’re available in the warmer months when the grass is growing and the trees are green."

For those who are still braving the harsh conditions to venture out to the parks, the director has this advice.

"Even though we’re out trying to address parking lots, sidewalks and entrances into businesses," Kempf said. "Folks should still be concerned for their own safety."

The city Parks Dept. also said they are dependent upon the same source for salt as the city streets department. They told us those levels are low. 

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Wednesday's rain is associated with a cold front that will move through Thursday morning. Expect breezy winds overnight and into Thursday as well. This will also lead to cooling temperatures throughout the day with afternoon temperatures only in the 40s. Expect it to be a mostly cloudy day, too.
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