By this point last year, all the money in the town’s snow removal budget had been used up. Fortunately, things are looking much brighter this year.
DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan told me the town budgeted $280K for snow removal and so far has spent $125K. “We are doing okay,” she said.
Galligan said they started the season with good stockpiles of salt and sand, and have been able to replenish them throughout the season to maintain a mostly-full shed.
Like last year, many of the storms this winter have hit on holidays and weekends — including the one this week on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — and that means overtime pay for plow operators. Galligan credited the efficiency of the DPW staff, highway supervisor, and the town’s contracted plow operators with keeping costs under control. “At this point, we’ve eaten up a little less than half of the overtime allotted for snow,” she said.
Last year the town budgeted $229K for snow removal. That money was gone by mid-January, forcing selectmen to authorize an emergency transfer of an additional $88K to get the town through the rest of the winter.