Routt County seeks new snow removal czar |

Routt County seeks new snow removal czar

Routt County Road and Bridge crews use sand to stop water from the Yampa River from running across Mount Werner Road near Tree Haus neighborhood in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday morning. Photo by John F. Russell.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Snow removal is a big deal in rural Routt County, where snowplows must clear 849 miles of roads every time Steamboat Ski Area is favored with fresh snow. And this spring, County Manager Tom Sullivan finds himself looking for a new czar of snow removal after Road and Bridge Director Rick Harrah left the position March 12 after seven months on the job.

The county is recruiting a new public works director/road and bridge director at an advertised salary range  of $100,479 to $114,662. During the interim, veteran assistant director Mike Mordi is the county’s acting director.

The job description calls for candidates with strong engineering backgrounds and experience in completing capital projects as well as being a “super communicator” who can connect with their team and build relationships.

The new director would become the fourth in seven years: Janet Hruby succeeded Paul Draper in August 2012, and when she left in August 2017 to relocate to a traffic project engineer, Harrah accepted the job.

Assistant County Manager Dan Weinheimer said when Harrah relocated to Routt County, his family remained in Ohio to take care of an elderly family member, and he left to reunite with them. 

Hruby’s tenure as road and bridge director saw the county constructing rural bridges with the help of federal grants and making safety improvements on Routt County Road 14, which is used heavily by commuters traveling between Steamboat Springs and Stagecoach.

In the winter of 2016-17, when North Routt County saw exceptionally heavy snowfalls, Hruby had the job of trying to mollify drivers who sometimes found secondary country roads along Routt County Road 129 dangerous to drive during the evening commute due to a once-a-day snowplow route to the north. 

Routt County commissioners responded to the public outcry in their 2018 budget, funding the hiring of an additional heavy equipment operator to provide additional snowplow runs in North Routt this winter.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

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