Snow storms exhausting budgets in cities, towns - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Snow storms exhausting budgets in cities, towns


With six weeks left of winter and no telling what ice and snow we could get in the spring, many municipal snow budgets are already blown.

Municipal leaders in both large and small towns were crunching the numbers of their snow budgets and not liking what they were seeing.

Battling snow storms is a seasonal fight. Besides buying the right equipment, employing people to operate and repair them, along with fuel and materials to keep the roads and sidewalks from icing, it takes a budget.

As of Tuesday, many of those budgets are nearly depleted including Norwich. Not counting Monday's storm, they've spent 85 percent of their $290,000 budget. 

"A couple of more storms and we're out of money as far as the snow budget goes," said Norwich City Manager Alan Bergren.

As towns load up more sand/ salt in preparation of Wednesday's storm, they'll likely have to find more money in other accounts at the end of the snow season. 

"Obviously you don't stop plowing the streets, you don't stop salting and sanding you have to do that," Bergren said. "And we'll continue to do that."

Many cities and towns make a snow budget based on the three year average of recent snow seasons.

This year, Norwich budgeted $290,600 for fuel, material and overtime and has $5,600 remaining.

Meanwhile smaller towns such as Old Lyme, which budgeted $76,000 for the season, is tapped out.

"The snow is beautiful, but it costs money. So you know we just have to make sure roads are clear and people can get around," said Old Lyme First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

That is the bottom line according to many managers Eyewitness News talked to. The roads must be kept clear, and they'll resolve the budget issues when it gets warmer.

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