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Spearfish develops snow plow and garbage truck GPS app

New safety feature in Spearfish
Spearfish residents will soon be able to track the progress of snowplows and garbage trucks.
Spearfish residents will soon be able to track the progress of snowplows and garbage trucks.(KEVN)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 5:43 PM MDT
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - To drive or not to drive in heavy snow? Spearfish residents will soon have up to the minute snow plow progress tracked on their smartphone or laptop before they even leave their garage.

“The way that we have it currently set up is they will navigate to the city of Spearfish’s website, and there will be a link on that website that will take them to an alternate site, and then they will see data real-time as the trucks drive around,” says the Spearfish public works director, Dustin Lee.

When it comes to the snowplows, Lee says they will turn every street in the area red before the snowfalls.

“Then, as we send out our plows, the system is smart enough to know when the plow is down when the plow is up. So while they’re driving across the street with the plow down, that will turn that street from red to green. And then people will know that their street are now plowed,” says Lee.

The new trackers won’t only help the public; it will also be an added tool for Lee and his crew.

“You can put your plows wherever they need to go just by looking at the map. It saves on the confusion when people are calling in. They’re having to pull over to the side of the road. Call into our command center and say I just plowed Woodland Loop. Now, they don’t have to do that anymore. We can look immediately, see that that street is green, and I can dispatch them to a different area,” says Lee.

It will work the same on garbage day. When garbage trucks drive around the area, the map will start red and turn green as the trash is picked up.

“For some reason, you woke up a little bit later on Monday, and that was your trash day. You can log in real quick see if the truck had already passed your house and if you had time to run out and put your trash can at the end of the driveway,” says Lee.

The goal is to have the system up and running by the end of next week.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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