Winter—you gotta love it! The Winter Maintenance Subcommittee does!

Bret Hodne
Superintendent of Public Works
City of West Des Moines, Iowa
Chair, APWA Winter Maintenance Subcommittee

Looking for information about snow and ice control? Have we got the ticket for you! The APWA Winter Maintenance Subcommittee is a group of APWA members from across North America that is here to help you with this challenging maintenance activity. The fact of the matter is that all too often the public's perception of an agency's performance is judged mainly on how well they manage snow and ice during the winter months. A lack of planning or information about new technology and winter maintenance practices can oftentimes lead to trouble for the individuals responsible for overseeing this vital function.

The Winter Maintenance Subcommittee's mission statement is: "On behalf of the citizens we serve, to be an informed action and advocacy group to promote the development and use of the safest, most cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally-sensitive winter maintenance technologies, equipment, materials, and practices; so these citizens can enjoy an excellent quality of life during the snow and ice season." The Winter Maintenance Subcommittee is continually looking for ways to assist agencies that would like to improve their snow and ice control programs. Here are some of the goals the subcommittee has established:

  • Assist the APWA staff with identifying topics and speakers for the North American Snow Conference educational sessions and plan an educational session for Congress.
  • Distribute information to the APWA community via the APWA website.
  • Contribute and identify other contributors to provide winter maintenance articles for the APWA Reporter.

As you can see from the goals, the subcommittee is here to help the membership with issues which they may encounter in the management of snow and ice. A great deal of their effort focuses on education and training. Last year, a lot of time was dedicated to providing assistance to the APWA staff with the planning of the North American Snow Conference. Feedback from attendees at this event was extremely positive. The "hands-on" anti-icing session, which was held the day after the conference had concluded, had more than 250 attendees. Subcommittee members played a key role in the planning and presenting for this training. Some of the other key areas that members assist with are: submitting articles on snow-related issues for the APWA Reporter; website updates; and participating on various national committees comprised of snow and ice professionals from around North America.

Bret Hodne, Superintendent of Public Works for the City of West Des Moines, Iowa is the chair of the subcommittee; John Scharffbillig, Minnesota DOT is the vice chair. Other members include: Jerry Pickett, Greeley, CO; Layton Lamb, Charlotte, NC; Kevin Koch, Philadelphia, PA; Diana Evans, Ohio DOT; Barry Belcourt, Edmonton, AB; Dr. Wilfred Nixon, University of Iowa; Gary Welsh, Toronto, ON; Rachelle Cornelius, Kansas City, MO; and Scott Peppler, Provo, UT. If you have an interest in participating please contact Bret Hodne at

This subcommittee also has other participants that share in the discussions along with the formal members. Anyone that has an interest in the area of snow and ice management is welcome to participate. Currently, Dick Hanneman, Salt Institute; Tony Myhra, Cryotech Deicing Technology; Steve Karr, Envirotech; David Lawrence, City of Philadelphia; Mohamed Alkoka, BNorth Technologies, Inc.; Mike Kennedy, City of Minneapolis; and Mark Devries, McHenry County, Illinois share this level of involvement.

For the past few months, the subcommittee has been working diligently at updating the APWA Winter Maintenance website. The goal of the group is to make this a resource where members can go to get useful information. There are currently several links that can provide members with important news on winter issues. Another section highlights upcoming training events and conferences. The site also lists the contact information of the subcommittee members and "Friends." Visitors to the site can contact any of these respective individuals with questions or ideas. I would highly encourage you to visit the Winter Maintenance Subcommittee site on the APWA website. If there are other items you would like to see listed, please let us know. To access the site go to or just go to the APWA website and type winter maintenance in the search section.

The subcommittee is looking forward to another challenging and productive year. We once again have several new members and many challenging areas to explore. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has ideas for the winter maintenance community. Feedback is an important key to staying on top of the "hot issues" in snow and ice. Once again, we are here to help you. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like some assistance!

Bret Hodne can be reached at (515) 222-3536 or at