Snow removal costs beginning to add up -

Snow removal costs beginning to add up

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It’s been a familiar sight this season, snow plows salting and clearing roads, so much so that local and county are keeping the budget in mind as they deal with the rising snow totals.

Pleasantville officials have made adjustments over the years to control overtime costs.

"What we learned to do is work smarter instead of harder, said Pleasantville Mayor Jesse Tweedle. “Instead of bringing the guys in just because its snowing, we waiting until the snow hit the ground actually and brought the guys in on regular time."

Pleasantville officials say costs are still under the snow removal budget of $50,000 even after recently ordering an additional 100 tons of salt at a cost of $5,500.

Down in Cape May County, officials say they have used over $100,000 worth of salt countywide this snowy season.

"We’ve gone through about 1,750 tons of salt already this year which is equivalent to about $110,000 worth of salt," said Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster.

While that number may sound high, it is the cost of overtime pay that is nearing budget limits. County officials say the long duration of the storms has resulted in 750 hours of overtime resulting in about $25,000 worth of overtime pay.

"Which is basically our overtime budget for the year so its something we're going to have to look at Treasurer’s Office and Freeholder Board about what to do from here," said Foster.

Foster says the County can use escrow money left over from years they came in under the budget to help offset this years costs, something he thinks they will definitely need.

Although the cost of overtime may be adding up in Cape May County, officials there and in Pleasantville say a mild winter last year means that plenty of salt was leftover and available to use this year.

"Thank God last year was a very mild winter, we were able to stock up on our salt," said Tweedle.

And even if the cost of snow removal does reach new highs this season, officials say they will not lose sight of the overall goal.

"When we see the bad weather coming we want to get the roads clear and safe for motorist," said Foster.

"There is more at stake if you don't do it than going above the budget," said Tweedle.

Snow removal on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike has cost over 14 million dollars just this month, while last year snow removal for the entire season cost less then 25 million dollars.

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