OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The first snow storm of the season is coming with a bill for the City of Overland Park, Kansas.

For snowplow and salt truck drivers this winter in Overland Park, there’s no business like snow business.

“The city is not immune to any of the labor shortages that most organizations are seeing across the country right now. So what we did was look at our maintenance worker staffing and try to figure out how we are recruiting our staff and also retaining our staff,” Meg Ralph, Overland Park Communications Manager, said.

So the city launched an incentive program that on top of hourly pay and overtime will pay:

  • Plow drivers – $150 per storm
  • Small truck drivers – $100 per storm
  • Support staff – $50 per storm

But crews aren’t completely snow-dependent. They are guaranteed at least a $1500 bonus this winter.

“If we get 10 events of snow our drivers will get $1500 if we get 2 events of snow our drivers will get $1500 just for partaking in the program and being here when we need them to answer the call to keep residents safe,” Ralph said.

The city says the hiring effort has been a success, with 18 new employees this year. Though they still have 25 open positions.

It’s hoping the snow won’t come down hard enough or stick to where it needs to be plowed. But they had 60 salt trucks out on the road once early evening rains changed to the wintry mix and snow.

“We get an opportunity to test out what we’ve been working on it will be a good first step toward what we’ve been working on,” Ralph said.

Drivers are asked to give salt trucks and any potential snow plows plenty of room.

“Lots of people giving our drivers a wave or being helpful pulling the car off the street so they can get the plow through where they need to go that’s incredibly helpful. Sometimes just as impactful as a financial incentive is knowing the work they are doing is important and the community values what they are doing,” Ralph said.

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