Monday, December 29, 2014

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How much does snow removal cost?

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: How much does snow removal cost?
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The Southern Tier escaped the brunt of this week's major snow storm. But all of the manpower and materials needed to keep the roadways clear is beginning to add up. Our Carmen Perez spoke with local officials about the cost of snow cleanup so far this winter.

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- "We haven't had any major storms yet, but we have had many, many little ones," said Brock Leonard, Vestal Highway Superintendent.

And those little ones are costing big bucks. It's about halfway through the winter season and the Town of Vestal has pretty much used up its salt and sand budget.

"Each time it snows like that, you have to treat the roadways, you have to scrape the roads off and it just costs a lot of money," said Leonard.

While some of the smaller municipalities have been hit hard this winter, Broome County has taken a new approach to snow and ice cleanup and so far they say it has paid off.

Pat Brennan, Deputy Executive of Physical Services, said, "We got special training to go from two-man to one-man plowing crews, we made some schedule adjustments and we got more facilities to use to store salt and materials."

These few changes have amounted to savings for the county. Deputy executive of physical services Pat Brennan says a budget crunch forced the changes but they have lead to more efficiency in cleanup.

"They have taken a lot more work but they have stayed within the budget guidelines and they are doing a good job and we are getting compliments from citizens saying they like the way roads are getting taken care of," said Brennan.

With citizens in mind, Vestal's highway supervisor says he will find a way to come up with more money so his roads and highways stay clean.

"We have to continue making the roads safe for people whether we have money or not," said Leonard.

Doing what needs to be done to make sure people ride safely through the rest of this winter season. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP