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City employees help with snow removal in Kenosha County

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KENOSHA (WITI) -- As the snow fell this weekend and early this week, Kenosha County had some city employees pushing snow. These employees have worked with the city to earn their commercial driver's licenses to help with snow removal. 

It has been a relatively mild winter, with relative lack of snowfall, especially for southeastern Wisconsin counties like Racine and Kenosha.

Chase Kuffel is a City Engineer with the City of Kenosha, and this weekend, Kuffel went from pushing a pen and paper to pushing a plow. 

"It's a nice change of pace. I actually look forward to it. Spent a little bit of time on the northside, going around the blocks and cleaning up the gutters and making sure the stop signs were all salted and the streets were cleared off for all the motorists," Kuffel said.

Kuffel is one of roughly 90 Kenosha employees who are not a part of the city's streets or parks divisions, but have worked with the city to earn their commercial driver's licenses, and are able to operate snow plows in a pinch.

"We need all hands on deck, so to speak, when there's a major snowfall. The Department of Public Works will train the individual in the snow plow and working with people in our Transit Department will allow them to obtain a commercial driver's license," Kenosha Director of Public Works Michael Lemens said.

Lemens says the practice has been in place for over 25 years.

"We have police that have volunteered. We have volunteers from our Transit Department -- bus drivers. We have people from our water utility, we have people from our library, and even clerical staff volunteer and participate in snow removal," Lemens said.

Lemens says while those who take part earn some extra money, for most, the major draw involves becoming a part of the city's snow solution.

"It's the notion that they're helping -- they're pitching in and helping where there's a need," Lemens said.