Recent storms take a toll on snow removal budgets


Cities and towns across western Massachusetts have certainly had plenty of practice clearing the streets over the last few weeks.

Many communities are already planning to overspend on snow and ice removal as budgets climb into the hundreds of thousands.

In eastern Hampshire County, they will likely see higher snow totals, but on Monday, residents and DPW crews decided to seize the time before the snow flies to make preps before the oncoming nor'easter. Ware's Public Works Director told Western Mass News he is trying to look on the brighter side. "You get a good day this time of year, you're trying to fill potholes and patch," said Ware DPW Director, Richard Kilhart. On Monday night the department will switch to storm coverage.

Almost two dozen private contractors and DPW crews will begin the process of clearing.

Kilhart waits for a call from police that snow is starting to stick. They don't pre-treat instead drop salt and sand on the light snow. "We create a bit of salt and brine on the pavement and we move from there," Kilhart added. On February 8 Kilhart requested to expend their snow and ice budget which is around $150 to $200 thousand. "That's actually a month later than what we have typically done last year was January 13," he explained. When asked if the money used on storms would create issues for other services provided by the DPW, Kilhart noted there is a delicate balance between keeping the streets safe and funding.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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