Published Date Written by Michael KitchLACONIA — The flurry of storms in February have stretched the city's winter maintenance budget near he limit, City Manager Scott Myers said yesterday. ,
Consulting meteorologist Russ Hobby said that until yesterday 42 inches of snow have fallen on the city this month — more than two-and-a-half times the average of 16.5 inches for the month — short of the record of 65.3 feet set in February, 1969.
So far this winter the snowfall measures 72 inches, compared to an average winter of 81 inches and far short of record of 138.8 inches that fell in 2007-2008.
Director of Public Works Paul Moynihan explained that the 2012-2013 winter maintenance budget of $407,000 consists of three components: $330,000 for supplies of sand and salt and use and repair of vehicles; $50,000 for overtime wages; and $27,000 for private plowing contractors.
Myers said that approximately $380,000, or 94-percent, of the budget has been expended and "it has been known to snow in March."
The city has purchased 3,767 tons of salt at $61.65 a ton, which amounts to $260,019, spent some $60,000 on overtime — almost three-quarters of it in February — and paid another $20,000 to plowing contractors.
This week Moynihan suggested to Myers the department needed $50,000 in additional funds — $30,000 for salt and $20,000 for overtime — to carry it through the end of March. Myers noted that last year, after a mild winter left a surplus approaching $100,000 in the winter maintenance budget, on his recommendation the City Council established a winter maintenance stabilization reserve, from which funds could be drawn to defray budget overruns without having to transfer money from other accounts. However, he said that while continuing to tackle the storms instead of shuffling money now he preferred to settle accounts in the spring.