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Scenna: Majority of Snow Budget Spent in Melrose

After contending with multiple snowstorms this winter, nearly 80 percent of the snow budget has been spent in Melrose, according to DPW Director John Scenna.

Snow shoveler. Credit: File photo
Snow shoveler. Credit: File photo
After contending with multiple snowstorms this winter, nearly 80 percent of the snow budget has been spent in Melrose, according to DPW Director John Scenna. 

The city budgeted $500,000 for snow maintenance for fiscal 2014, and to date nearly $400,000 has been spent, according to Scenna.

"The first two major storms in December had very little time in between them thus providing an added challenge. Weekend storms also increase our overtime expenses," Scenna said. "The last storm in early January had very cold temperatures with it. Due to the cold temperatures, our salt application at times proved not as efficient, resulting in an ice pack on side streets which required follow-up treatment once the storm passed.

"Overall, the storms averaged roughly the same per inch cost at nearly $11,000 per inch."

The city has spent about $175,000 on sand, salt and fuel, $130,000 in contractual equipment and $80,000 in overtime, according to Scenna.

Last year the city budgeted $500,000 for snow maintenance; however, $821,242 was spent on snow maintenance in fiscal 2013, according to Assistant City Auditor Bridget Geehan.

If Melrose has to tackle several more snowstorms this winter, Scenna said "we are allowed to deficit spend line items in our snow budget. We monitor our expenditures closely from storm to storm and are in constant communication with our City Auditor Patrick DelloRusso in this regard. How the deficit is ultimately handled is a decision our city auditor and Mayor Rob Dolan will propose."

Despite some significant snowstorms to start the season, equipment problems haven't been a major factor thus far, according to Scenna.

"We have had some mechanical issues with a few of our sidewalk tractors so far," he said. "The majority of our fleet has handled the winter well to date. The last storm was very difficult on our plows and cutting edges."
Norman George January 13, 2014 at 05:11 PM
They always under budget. Just budget for a million so we won't have to hear the cry every year that we are out of money . If they don't use it save it for the next year. Or maybe fix a street or two if there are left over funds.

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