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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 28, 2009, 08:33 AM

Rude awakening for the new plow crew

(WDAY TV) - It was a rude welcome to the new plow crew in Wilkin County. For the first time in decades, township roads are being plowed by contractors.

By: Stephanie Goetz, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - It was a rude welcome to the new plow crew in Wilkin County. For the first time in decades, township roads are being plowed by contractors. This is second nature to Jim and Andrew Vilele. Welding, repairing, and building just about anything these men can do it in their sleep. But this year, a new, unexpected challenge for these contractors from JAV Construction: paving the way for snowed-in rural homeowners.

“To go out with 16-18 inches your first time, you learn really quickly what you can an can't do."

"It all came about this weekend witch was not a very good situation with people that haven't plowed very much snow."

As part of way to save the county money, they've contracted out three area contractors to plow Wilkin County township roads. Although these brothers have cleared plenty of snow in their time, they, along with most of the other drivers, are first-time county plow operators.

"The truck itself is pretty generic. Of course you got your attachments up front and on the sides so you're paying attention for those."

But they haven't been all on their own.

"We've been advising them because it's new to them."

"He went out and followed some of the equipment around and helped with some little tips on snow plowing activities."

"Eventually they'll take care of all that themselves."

So far, so good for these rookie snow plow drivers. There's only been one phone call on more than 350 miles of roads, miles that are precious when money and work is scarce.

"It has worked out really good this year that we've picked up some work for Wilkin County to keep us busy."

"Typically in the winter months, obviously the ground is frozen and you can't accomplish a whole lot because it's not really cost effective to do much, so the snow removal's been a nice add on for us."

Township residents are benefiting from this switch. The county used to run 13 plows on roads. Now they run eighteen.

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