Snow plow show down gives workers a chance to show their skills

By Alyssa Donovan

September 6, 2013 Updated Sep 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill.--Public works professionals from throughout Illinois came out on Friday to show off their skills behind the wheel of a snow plow.

21 teams of public workers competed on an obstacle course to test and improve their skills.

Director of Public Works for the city of Bloomington Jim Karch said, “The amount of skill that it takes and the amount of years that it takes to get that skill can be seen. This is a hard course so this allows people to show off what they got."

Although there was no snow to be seen, public works officials say each part of the obstacle course simulates real life situations the workers face when there actually is snow on the ground.

Karch said, "You actually have to back up to a tight 3 barricade within 6 inches so what that does that really shows how good how close our drivers are to be able to back up into small areas and to be able to push that snow."

After all of the teams completed the course Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and Normal Mayor Chris Koos faced off in their own snow plow competition.

Both Mayors did pretty well maneuvering the plows but Normal Mayor Chris Koos was the winner.

Both Koos and Renner say getting behind the wheel give them a new appreciation for the snow removal crews.

Koos said, "I mean we did that for a half hour and they do it for 12 hours a day. It's an incredible skill set that they have to be able to do that."

Renner said, "And we didn't have to deal with snow. Imagine if your driving this and there's snow. We have absolutely a new understanding and a new appreciation for our public service workers."

Public works officials say this fun event helps the workers improve their skills and have pride in what they do.

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