Plenty of cash left in city's snow budget

Plenty of cash left in city's snow budget

PAWTUCKET - Several other communities are expected to overspend on their snow removal budgets this winter, but officials say the Pawtucket Department of Public Works should reach spring with a few dollars remaining in the till.

"Approximately half" of this year's $500,000 snow removal budget is left with more than a month left in the snowiest season remaining, according to Dylan Zelazo, spokesman for Mayor Donald Grebien.

Based on the number and severity of snow events to date, officials expect they'll have no trouble taking care of whatever winter still has to bring, said Zelazo.

"We're not projecting that we'll go over," he said.

In Pawtucket, city officials generally average the cost of snow removal efforts from the previous three years to come up with a budget for the upcoming winter's costs. They say the system has worked well in getting the financial projections as close to what will actually be needed as possible.

According to Zelazo, the $500,000 budgeted this year covers three areas: overtime for city workers, hiring vendors, and sand and salt.

* For overtime costs, the city is right at about 50 percent used, said Zelazo.

* For vendors, they're somewhat under budget because they've been able to keep more of the road treatment and plowing work "in house," he said.

* And the sand and salt budget is currently running "a little over," he said, with the last snowstorm being the most expensive.