Plows

Koos scoops up snowplow competition title

2013-09-06T20:00:00Z 2013-09-06T21:03:19Z Koos scoops up snowplow competition titleBy Lenore Sobota | lsobota@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com
September 06, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

NORMAL — Normal Mayor Chris Koos had better watch out this winter.

After besting Bloomington’s Tari Renner in a battle of the mayors snowplow driving competition on Friday, Koos may find himself on the on the reserve driver list.

Meanwhile, Renner already is asking for a rematch next year.

The two mayors drove blade-equipped, three-quarter-ton pickup trucks through an obstacle course in the parking lot at the Crossroads Center — the same course through which 21 teams of plow drivers from across the state maneuvered full-size plows as part of the American Public Works Association Illinois Chapter Roadeo competition.

With plastic barrels and cones standing in for parked cars and mailboxes, both the pros and mayors demonstrated their skills — or, in the case of the mayors, lack thereof — on a timed course that included backing up through a serpentine route and turning tight corners. The drivers cheered their co-workers, teased the mayors and groaned when a cone or barrel became a casualty.

A team from the Urbana Public Works Department placed first in the overall competition after a tie-breaking runoff with McLean County’s Dry Grove Township. A written test and safety challenge were part of scoring.

Although Koos won the mayors’ duel, he was under no delusion that he was ready to get behind the wheel a city plow.

In accepting his “golden snowplow” trophy, Koos said to the real plow drivers, “The truth is, if either one of us was doing your job, our supervisors would tell us to get out and load salt.”

As runner-up, Renner received the “push-it-around-your-driveway” trophy: a shovel painted gold.

“It was definitely tough,” Renner said. “It showed us what our public works employees do for us every day.”

Although the competition took place under a blazing hot sun, winter was on the minds of many of those pre-sent.

Jim Karch, Bloomington public works director, has read the latest Farmers Almanac.

“They’re saying it’s going to be a colder and more snowy winter than last year,” Karch said. “Our crews are ready to go.”

Robin Weaver, Normal public works director, said pre-season preparation includes having drivers go over their routes and note any changes from the previous year. But she expects to be gone before the snow flies; she is retiring in November.

Copyright 2015 pantagraph.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Countrygirl78
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    Countrygirl78 - September 13, 2013 12:01 pm
    Please tell me what skill is proven by driiving a snowplow truck when there is no blowing snow or snow covered obstacles to avoid. This was merely a show of egos, a waste of taxpayer dollars for the fuel and possibly driver's wages, not to mention the chance they took with equipment being damaged. It's not entertainment for officials and employees, it's a disrespectful use of publicly owned equipment.
    Let them take the written test only, as they should be required to do. Sounds like that's what broke the tie for Urbana and Dry Grove......someone didn't study.
  2. thoughts a million
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    thoughts a million - September 07, 2013 12:08 pm
    I agree, but we've both been posting here long enough to realize most people are haters and complainers. I could only imagine what it's like living with them....
  3. IF 6 WAS 9
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    IF 6 WAS 9 - September 07, 2013 10:48 am
    I am glad I don't live in either down, this is pathetic. People around here need lives. If there was a most boring city contest, Normal and Bloomington would be a lock for number 1 and 2.
  4. Alli
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    Alli - September 07, 2013 9:01 am
    But I can't get police in my neighborhood to enforce parking violations some of which block my driveway completely. But as long as Teri wants a rematch my neighborhood can remain raucous and laws and ordnances are NOT enforced.
  5. catlbyer16
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    catlbyer16 - September 07, 2013 7:50 am
    Whats with you negative people? Did you think the Stork just dropped drivers into snow plow trucks? In your case I wouldn't give any of you a hammer to drive a nail with, let alone keys to a snow plow!
  6. bloom4ever
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    bloom4ever - September 07, 2013 7:29 am
    These types of events are subsidised by the vendors that pay for booth space. Unfortunatly in the Pantagraphs effort to cover this event they left out the vendor display area. I just about bet if the Mayors Compotition did not take place, thePantagraph would not have been there.
  7. bloom4ever
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    bloom4ever - September 07, 2013 7:24 am
    Well your tax money could have been spent setting in a coffee shop or hiding somewhere.
  8. masteryoda
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    masteryoda - September 07, 2013 7:11 am
    I could not agree more. I think our Mayors of both cities should be concentrating on more productive things and not wasting our tax payers money on out playing around with a plow in the parking lot.
  9. jster
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    jster - September 07, 2013 6:34 am
    So training events need to be dull and boring? Or would you prefer no training at all? Or do you think it cost mega $$ to have the mayors drive? Or are you just a curmudgeon?
  10. DaCards88
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    DaCards88 - September 06, 2013 9:06 pm
    I sure as hell hope this is not how my tax money is spent.
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