Snow Removal Costs Skyrocket

By on April 15, 2014

Snow-NewmanIf it feels as if this past winter hit your budget hard, you’re not alone: Verona’s municipal snow removal costs for January to March of this year were almost quadruple those for the winter of 2012.

Verona Township Manager Joe Martin told the Town Council at the last meeting that the town spent $272,000 on snow removal from January to March 2014, and emphasized that a snow reserve was needed in the budget in case we get more snow before the year is out.

But Martin told today that, in 2012, Verona spent $73,474 on snow removal, including overtime, outside contractors, salt and repairs. In 2013, he said, the cost jumped to $192,700 because a larger number of ice storms meant more salt was used.

Snow storms weren’t the only storms to clobber Verona’s budget in recent years, however: The freak October 2011 snow storm cost us $600,000, including $100,000 in debris removal. In December 2011 Martin called it “the most expensive storm in Verona history. But then came Hurricane Sandy the following October, which left us with $675,000 in eligible disaster costs, including $105,000 in police overtime because Verona had to deploy so many officers to control lines at gas stations here. Verona was only partially reimbursed by FEMA for the cost of those storms.

Verona pays for its snow removal out of the general budget, but, unlike some other towns, it keeps a snow reserve of at least $70,000 so that it does not have to declare a financial emergency, Martin says. “It’s an in-house emergency policy for snow removal.”

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Hopefully, we won’t need it tonight: The summer-like temperatures of the past few days are going to vanish and the National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning.

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