One place where this knowledge can be learned is at the American Public Works Association's (APWA's) 1997 North American Snow Conference. This year the conference will be held in at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo., April 27-30.
The conference begins Sunday afternoon with roundtable discussions conducted by experts in the field. Vince Mee, operations superintendent with the municipality of Anchorage, Alaska returns to lead a discussion on adapting to changes in winter maintenance techniques. Mee's roundtable at the 1996 conference was so popular that people stood behind the lucky ones who were able to get seats, in order to hear the discussion.
Other roundtable discussions will cover such topics as anti-icing equipment, urban plows with wings, expanding the capabilities of RWIS and airport winter maintenance. Michael Garrett, public works director for the city of Spartanburg, S.C., will discuss snowfighting on the Snow Belt's edge. This talk will help those working along the Snow Belt, who rarely know what to expect when winter arrives.
The exhibits open that evening at 5:00 p.m. with a welcoming reception from the Kansas City Metro Chapter of the APWA. Over 70 companies will be exhibiting the latest technologies and innovations in snow and ice control.
Kansas City's Mayor Emmanuel Cleaver will offer welcoming remarks at the opening general session, Monday, April 28, at 8:30 a.m. This will be followed by Bryan Busby, chief meteorologist, KMBC, Kansas City, Mo., who will provide an insightful look at the weather forecasting business.
Concurrent sessions will begin after lunch and run through the afternoon covering such topics as MnDOT's maintenance business planning program, which puts the primary focus of their snow and ice removal program on the customerÑthe driving public. Another sessions will cover the global positioning and automated vehicle location systems being tested in Northern Virginia.
Tuesday will begin with a continental breakfast on the exhibit floor. The general session will begin at 9 a.m. and feature a panel discussion, from representatives in the industry, on anti-icing and deicing. The focus of the discussion will center on the benefits and drawbacks of magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate.
The afternoon will be filled with concurrent sessions on such topics as snowplow attachment, operation and maintenance; reduction of salt applications; how to convert and mobilize your fleet overnight; and innovations in snow and ice control.
The final day, Wednesday, will open with concurrent sessions at 9 a.m. Topics include a discussion on good winter management practices and the benefit of good highway winter maintenance. There also will be a follow up session to Mee's roundtable discussion held on Sunday. This will allow more people the opportunity to interact with Mee as he discusses adapting to changes in winter maintenance techniques. The final session will highlight Dr. Carl Hurley, a nationally known humorists, who will share his stories.
That afternoon the technical tours will take place. Tours are $10 each and tickets can be purchased with registration. The first tour will provide a look at anti-icing and snow removal at Kansas City International Airport. The tour will look at the equipment, materials and special technology needed to control snow and ice at the airport. Some of the equipment includes two of the largest snow blowers in North America.
Or tour the Henke Manufacturing plant in Leavenworth, Kan., to see how snowplowing equipment is made. Emphasis will be on the design and manufacturing process.
The third tour offers a look at what goes on below the playing fields of both the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. Ron Labinski, designer of Arrowhead Stadium, will be on hand to answer any questions. In addition some of the local jurisdictions will have some of their snow removal equipment on display.
For more information on the North American Snow Conference, contact the APWA, PO Box 27-296, Kansas City, MO 64105-0296, or call (816) 472-6100.