MILWAUKEE — With the first significant snowfall now recorded and with more snow on the way in the days ahead, Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson toured one of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works (DPW) yards Wednesday on the city's north side.
He met with several DPW officials and learned about steps that the city is taking to ensure crews are ready to respond to a Wisconsin winter.
"The people that get behind the wheel of these vehicles and salt and remove snow and ice, they’re the ones who help this city to continue to function throughout these hard winter months," said Johnson during a brief press conference. He thanked DPW employees for their hard work. Then, Johnson learned about the trucks and equipment kept at the particular storage lot.
During the press conference, it was mentioned by one of the department's top officials that a worker shortage continues to impact the city's ability to respond to snow events like the one Milwaukee experienced Tuesday night.
In early December, DPW noted that there were still nearly 60 positions open.
On Wednesday, despite a recent pay raise to $23 per hour, it was said that there hasn't been much progress made in filling those positions.
"We’re still hovering around the same number for vacancies, but we’re actively working to get people in the door and trained as quickly as possible, as you can imagine," said Danielle Rodriguez, DPW Director of Operations.
Acting Mayor Johnson also called on the community to do their part when there are snow events. He mentioned safe driving and the removal of snow on sidewalks and near fire hydrants as ways residents can help keep the community safe.