How Are Snow Removal Budgets Doing This Winter?


Keeping highways clear of snow and ice during winter storms can be an expensive job.

Waddington Highway Superintendent Terry Mayette says the town has plowed, salted and sanded its way through slightly less than half of its snow removal budget.

"Winter is winter. I mean you have a good week and then you might have a bad week," he said.

Even though snowfall amounts are higher than last winter, local highway superintendents say the costs for snow removal are running right about where they should be at this time of year.
"We've spent about $1,000 more to date than we did over last year, but our salt usage is in line with where we were last year," said Canton Highway Superintendent Terry Billings.
Winter storms can be costly on local budgets when you factor in overtime for plow drivers, the cost of fuel and the sand and salt that are needed for the roads.
"Most of the storms have averaged from during the daytime working hours so the overtime has been somewhat minimal and cut down that it has been normally on the weekends where it's strictly all overtime," said Potsdam Highway Superintendent John Keleher.
While the price of road salt is down slightly from last year, the price of fuel is running 10 to 15 cents a gallon more than it was at this same time last year.

Highway officials we spoke with also told us overtime for plow drivers is about average with most snow and ice falling on weekdays and not weekends.
With just a few more weeks left before the plows can be put away, highway officials are hoping winter continues to be kind to their budgets.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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