Costs for snow removal putting strain on multiple cities

(WTNH) — Old man winter is putting a pinch on Connecticut cities. Almost a week into March and budgets for snow removal have been blown wide open, leaving cities like New Haven to find creative ways to help cover the costs.

“We’re taking out of salaries, positions we haven’t filled, about $300,000 to put on top of $518,000 that we budgeted for snow removal,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

The city of Waterbury is fighting the same battle. Initial budget figures of $550,000 for snow removal were not enough to tackle the 63 inches they’ve received. Already, $185,000 has been transferred over and Waterbury Public Works is requesting $265,000 more to cover contract workers.

“The budget is strained,” said Waterbury Public Works director Dave Simpson. “We’ve had transfers into our sand and salt material account, the contracting account, and we’ve recommended a transfer into the overtime account.”

Stamford budgeted a whopping $1 million for snow removal and that’s all been spent. Public works is requesting another $419,000 for expenses.

These hard numbers don’t begin to take into account the human toll for workers, out during the wee hours fighting Mother Nature to help keep the roads cleared for all.

“People have had to work around the clock for many, many days in a row,” Mayor Harp said. “I think they’ve done an excellent job, but it’s been very difficult and expensive.”

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