This year’s long, cold winter is taking a toll on Petrolia’s snow removal budget.
Just before the latest snow started to fall, Joe Adams, director of operations for the town, said the 2013 snow budget of nearly $77,000 was spent. “The 2014 budget is over already, too.”
Adams says the town “used a lot more salt this year…because the temperatures are so cold we have to use more product.” The price of that salt has also gone up again, pushing costs higher.
Aside from the extra cost for salt, there is the extra cost for manpower. Adams says six people are available to clean the roads. They’ve been working constantly with workers begin asked to be on standby on weekends in case the snow begins again.
“We have usually been able to manage what has fallen over night,” he says. “We basically want to be able to get people off to work on time and then around the hospital and the schools.”
However the cumulative effect of continuous snowfall means big banks downtown and that, says Adams, leads to more overtime as workers get up early to scoop up the snow and haul it away.
“It takes extra time because we have to start early in the morning,” says Adams adding they’ll have to clean out the core area again, likely after this week’s snow.
Adams admits, like many other people in the community, snowplough operators in town are just waiting for spring. “We’re all looking forward to milder weather.”