MEREDITH — Despite the heavy snows and lingering cold, the Department of Public Works has spent less to date on winter maintenance this season than last.
This year the DPW has spent more on overtime wages and sand purchases than a year ago, but less on vehicle maintenance, salt purchases, snow removal and fuel supplies.
In 2014-2015 overtime expenses were $64,797 compared to $61,827 last winter, a difference of $2,969 while the $69,841 spent on sand was $9,783 more than the $60,058 expended a year ago.
Last year sand purchases cost $154,886, or $23,140 more than the $131,746 spent this year. Vehicle maintenance cost $41,476 in 2013-2014, but $34,009, or $23,140 less, this year. Fuel supplies, which cost $66,105 a year ago, cost $46,020, or $320,085 less, this year. And DPW spent only $5,292 removing snow this winter compared to $6,216 last, a difference of $923.
Altogether the department has spent $38,862 less than last year and about the same amount less than was budgeted for this year. Town Manager Phil Warren told the Board of Selectmen yesterday that the lower costs reflected the difference between the two winters. A year ago warmer temperatures enabled the DPW to apply more salt while this year colder temperatures required the use of more — and less expensive — sand. He also said that the department experienced fewer break downs this winter.
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