Western Mass communities look over snow removal budgets followin - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Western Mass communities look over snow removal budgets following storm

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(Western Mass News Photo) (Western Mass News Photo)

With another snow storm possibly headed our way later this week, local cities and towns are taking a close look at their snow removal budgets.

So far, a good chunk of those budgets have been spent for two December storms.

In Springfield, they're all geared up for the next storm.

"We're at about 500-thousand dollars of a 1.6-million-dollar budget, so budget-wise we're in pretty good shape,” said DPW Director Chris Cignoli.

Cignoli is keeping his eye on another possible snowstorm for Thursday.

Things can change very quickly, especially if we get some big snowfalls.

Chris Cignoli said it's been a busy December.

"Two plowable events we've had this year, including the one on Christmas day, however the city has had four other events where we've had to do significant sanding and salting over a period of time.”

Cignoli said the city uses about 10-thousand tons of salt each winter, that accounts for about 600-thousand dollars of the 1.6-million-dollar budget.

Not only are bigger cities like Springfield feeling the cost of snow removal, so are smaller communities like Easthampton.

“We start with 200-thousand dollars before we can go into a snow emergency, and right now we're at about the 100-thousand dollar mark.”

Easthampton DPW Director Joe Pipcznski said it's not just the plowing that costs money.

"We've only had two plowable events but we've had about a dozen sanding events, so the sanding events with an inch or two of snow can be costly.”

Pipczynski told Western Mass News that he anticipates going through the remaining 100-thousand dollars in the next couple of weeks if the weather keeps going the way it has so far this winter.

In that case a snow emergency would be declared.

He said the city would give the DPW more money to plow the streets, but that extra money would be deducted from the city's overall budget next year.

At the Springfield DPW yard, they actually use both sand and salt, and sometimes a combination of both on the roadways.

What they put down to treat the roads depends on conditions.

DPW Director Chris Cignoli asks people to obey parking bans. It makes it easier for the snow plowing operation.

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