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Budget For Snow Cleanup Doing Fine

February 18, 2014, 5:51 PM by Matt Holsen

Budget For Snow Cleanup Doing Fine

It seems like every other day over the last week we were waking up to fresh snow. While the recent snowfall has kept street crews in Sioux Falls busy, it's not breaking the bank.

Nice temperatures and no snow Tuesday gave crews a chance to cut some ice across town among other duties. Over the past few weeks, it's been a different story with several snowfalls of one to three inches.

"These little clipper events that have been coming in every other day for the last month. They're kind of wearing on us a bit as far as not giving us a break," Street and Fleet Manager Galynn Huber said.

Huber limits the cost of each snow event by splitting crews into two shifts, reducing overtime.

"All it is, is basically the cost of putting my chemical out in the street, which is very minimal. If I have a big snow event where I go out and plow the city, that's where the big cost is," Huber said.

Huber says it costs roughly $150,000 to clean up each inch that falls. That price goes up if there's overtime from a big snow or if the snow flies on a holiday. Since November, there's only been three snow alerts in the city. Huber budgeted for five to six.

Snow and icy conditions have called for a lot of salt on city roads but while some of the country is facing a salt shortage, that's not the case here in Sioux Falls. Despite using 11,000 tons of salt so far, Huber says the overall supply is doing just fine for now.

"I'm actually being rationed right now by our contractor. Normally, we would get about 40 to 50 loads a week as we need them. Now I'm down to 20 loads because they're diverting a lot of salt to the east coast. As the east coast warms up and as their weather gets a little nicer, I'll start getting those loads back here again," Huber said.

Huber didn't have a specific dollar amount on what he's spent so far but he'll get the final number in March. Sioux Falls has seen 32.1 inches of snow this winter.

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