Storm puts snow removal budget in the red

February 19, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

As the weekend's 32-inch snowfall disappeared from Clear Spring's side streets, it was being replaced with red ink.

"There was only $900 left in the town's $3,000 snow removal budget for this year as of the January meeting," said Town Clerk Juanita Grimm.

The cost for removing this latest, record-breaking accumulation had topped $5,000 as of Tuesday afternoon and was still climbing, she said.

Clear Spring owns no snow removal equipment, preferring instead to contract with Hamby Brothers for snow removal at the rate of $70 per hour.


Hamby Brothers brought one snow plow, two loaders and three trucks to haul away the snow, Grimm said.

"Since our main street (Cumberland Street) is U.S. 40, the State Highway Administration plows right through town," Grimm said. Cars parked on the main street are then buried and must be dug out by their owners.

Once they are removed from their parking spots, the owners are directed to a large lot behind Town Hall, which was cleared by Hamby Brothers before any of the side streets were plowed.

With the residents' vehicles in that lot, then Hamby Brothers were able to clear all town intersections Monday night. Additional people were hired to help out.

"Lots of people made hot coffee and brought it out for the men while they were working Monday night," Grimm said.

On Tuesday, all fire hydrants and storm drains were cleared for safety reasons and in an effort to prevent flooding once the snow starts melting.

"We even had little flags placed on top of the hydrants so they could be found easily," Grimm said.

The town was hoping to get assistance recovering the money spent over the town budget if a state of emergency is declared.

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