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Town's Snow Plowing Budget Blown Away After Blizzard

The normal winter season budget allocated to the town's Department of Public Works for materials and overtime isn't going to fly after this weekend's blizzard.

 

It's a budget difference of $65,000 (in the red) and that's just counting two full days of plowing.

Peter Neff, director of the town's Department of Public Works (DPW), the group responsible for plowing town roads, municipal buildings driveways and parking lots, and sidewalks, has a "normal" winter season plowing budget of $95,000.  That includes $50,000 for overtime costs for his crew and $45,000 in sand and salt.

His budget was looking good before the big storm hit.

As of yesterday morning, just a day and a half after the big blizzard, Neff estimates that he has expended $160,000 total this season. And that number will go up.

The costs includes overtime for the DPW crew, subcontractor costs, repairs to damaged equipment, sand, salt and fuel.

"We have responded to calls from the elderly and from those on private roads that cannot get plowed," said Neff.

His crew and the subcontractors have plowed areas of the manufactured home developments that are normally serviced by their own management companies.

"This storm is going to be expensive," he said.

Subcontractors in use during the storm cleanup include Schumack Engineered Construction, Finkeldey Services, Pinder Construction, Campanaro Construction, Old Colony Construction and D.D. Heser Construction.

Clinton resident February 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM
I think the town did an outstanding job of clearing Clinton's roads, but I question why town resources are being used to clear private roads.
Fran M. February 12, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Elaine-- I suspect that there were special circumstances here. Like, 3 ft of snow? Elderly folks who may have needed to leave their homes, due to medication needs or no heat? I know my own mother-in-law in Wallingford was trapped by herself until Sunday late night. She called her fire dept, who said they couldn't help her, but even still, about 10 minutes after that call, a tractor/payloader showed up at her house to help out. Will Fritz even extended that offer during the last "robocall" I heard, so good for them.
Hannah Bissell February 12, 2013 at 01:31 PM
because they are still citizens and there were extenuating circumstances. that said, the town should try and recoup at least some of the cost from those maintenance companies. they did a fantastic job, considering. i've heard reports all over the state from other towns that are still not cleared (as of last night) and what was cleared was abysmal.
Eddie VanHalen February 12, 2013 at 01:44 PM
You can't really say the town did an outstanding job clearing the roads when the roads are still not cleared. Brush hill rd along with many others look like a lunar lanscape . Last year we had no snow, what happened to the money left over from last year? And there is more snow on the way.
candace hinkley February 12, 2013 at 02:10 PM
At least we still have money for town employee pensions, you know, that retirement provision that has all but disapeared from the private sector!
Barbara Corcoran February 12, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I was under the impression that the Governor requested monies from the Federal Government that would be dispensed to towns to help pay for this storm. I may get bashed for pushing the envelope on child labor, but what about all these kids that are home from school - sitting inside playing video games - get them outside shoveling!!! :) They could clear these side roads in no time.
Phil Sengle February 12, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Barbara: Good idea. What did happen to kids making money shoveling? Although this storm is too much for any of us. The last time I saw kids shoveling was about three years ago when some kids knocked on my door. I paid them $20 for about an hour of shoveling. You should have seen the surprise in their eyes when they saw the $20 (they were 10 and younger). I think they expected $5 because when I asked what I owed them they said "whatever you think". Sad thing is I have not seen them since. They must have gotten an X-BOX.
Sandy February 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Well you will never make everyone happy. That's just impossible. Some people just need to find something wrong with everything. Eddie, you must have not ventured out to other town. The state highway wasn't clear. 153 in westbrook looked worse than brush hill. I'm sure you don't snow plow for a living or you would know first hand all the problems they had with this storm. Not to mention all the people who just had to be out packing it down even more. These workers had to deal with ignorant people yelling and screaming. People calling over and over wasting dispatchers time wondering when it was going to be their turn. Candace this article is not about a pension it's about a snow storm. Barbara it's all about how you raise your kids. Most kids nowadays do just plop in front of a tv, Vidio game, computer, iPad or phone because the parents allow it. My children were out shoveling at our house. even the grown up ones came to help out. The kids across the street were out with their parents too. I saw kids walking with shovels. They even stopped to help someone stuck in the snow. Please think about how you make these workers feel. I'm sure you don't care but they have families and children that read these comments.
Hannah Bissell February 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM
First... I drove on Bush Hill multiple times on Sunday and Monday and did not think it was as bad as you are describing. Second... drive outside of town, as otherwise suggested. I have driven in both CT and NY since the storm. NY is horrendous. slalom down roads where there is only room for 1 lane and at every driveway a pile of snow higher than the car so you can't even see if someone is coming the other direction. 6 inches of ice packed down onto 45 mph roads. various CT towns where people's roads haven't even been touched and they are still completely trapped instead of just inconvenienced by not-perfect conditions. one of my brother's this morning still have a 4 inch thick sheet of ice on his road. my sister, who normally would shovel her own drive, has been ill. neighborhood kids cleared her driveway and walkway for her. my kids weren't out shoveling bc they are still too little, but they were still outside. as for money... last i saw, budget discussions were happening. voice your concerns there. specific amounts are budgeted for each line item. they can't take from one line item to pay for another. yes, they can request assistance from the government. not sure what will happen with that. there are many places in need and realistically, if you think we don't pay for it even when it comes from the federal government you are mistaken. eventually, we all share the cost in some way.
Huskyfan February 13, 2013 at 07:42 PM
paying contractors to plow the roads was a mistake. It was a weekend, everybody knew a big storm was coming and most expected that the roads would not be good to drive on until at least monday. The fact that it was a weekend made it worse for the tax payers cause the contractors collected more money for being the weekend and overtime. Poor planning is to blame for blowing through the budget. Who is going to pay for the rest of the season if we have another storm?... the tax payers of course!
Sandy February 13, 2013 at 09:55 PM
So Huskyfan did you not see what came with the storm? Not even the state of Ct had enough man power to clean up after the storm. Who do you think pays for them? Yes the TAX PAYERS. We should be greatful for the private contractors that came out and helped. NO that would be the nice thing to do. EVERY TOWN is at its limit for snow removal not just Clinton. When you figure out a better plan you should go offer your assistance with the buget. You obviously know more than everyone else. They may need your real name in order to take you seriously.
Jonathan Sanders February 13, 2013 at 11:38 PM
All I can do is shake my head. Unbelieveable!
Hannah Bissell February 14, 2013 at 12:41 AM
where is my "like" button? yes... the tax payers pay for all of it, whether it is removed by state workers or contractors. and just look at Long Island if you want to see what happens when you don't hire local contractors to help out leaving residents stuck until after the weekend is over. check out the controversy over the Town of Brookhaven and the officials losing their jobs.
Joe Geronimo March 03, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Child labor, always a good solution, Barbara.

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