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City spends almost $200,000 on snow, ice removal

November 30, 1999|By DAN DEARTH

The City of Hagerstown spent $192,448 to remove ice and snow that accumulated on the city's streets during the storms of Feb. 13 and 25, said Eric Deike, the city's public works director.

Overtime expenses accounted for $67,099 of that amount, Deike said. Other costs were associated with equipment and vehicle operations, and purchasing de-icing salt, he said.

City officials budgeted $369,436 in fiscal year 2007 for snow and ice removal, and roughly $257,764 has been spent since the first snowstorm hit in December, Deike said. That leaves $111,672 to combat future storms.

Karen Giffin, community affairs director for the City of Hagerstown, said the remaining balance is healthy. She warned, however, that this time of the season in unpredictable concerning the weather.

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"We have had a history of storms in March," Giffin said.

Money that isn't used from the snow-removal budget is transferred to balance the city's budget, Giffin said.

The storms that hit Hagerstown last month dumped snow and sleet. Below-freezing temperatures made removing ice that formed on the ground extremely difficult. As a result, Deike said the storm was "atypical."

Public Works Department crews worked on some weekends in February to remove ice and snow from the openings of blocked alleys, driveways, sidewalks and storm drains once the streets were cleared.

The city also cleared city-owned sidewalks and metered parking spaces on Franklin, Potomac and Washington streets where ice and snow had piled up.

In some cases, the city couldn't avoid paying a high price to remove ice and snow, Deike said.

The storm on Feb. 25, for example, struck on a Sunday, Deike said. Overtime made up almost half of the $37,743 cost to fight that storm because workers had to come in on a weekend, he said.

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