How does winter weather impact public works budget? - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

How does winter weather impact public works budget?

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All the equipment and supplies used in battling wintry precipitation comes with a price. All the equipment and supplies used in battling wintry precipitation comes with a price.

Public Works crews in Huntsville have been going nonstop since Monday night making sure the roads are safe for travel. All the equipment and supplies they've been using comes with a price.

It's a tab the city is prepared to handle. City administrator John Hamilton said the Public Works department has a budget that they are "pretty much on target with." 

Hamilton said the biggest cost to the city will be the actual labor involved in keeping the roads safe for travel. He said they are still working to figure out an exact number for how much it will cost.

On Monday crews put down 12 tons of salt, 200 tons of sand and gravel and that cost around $6,000. "That's a surprisingly low number," he said. With the second wave of winter weather, more sand, salt and gravel was put down. Hamilton expects that could cost up to $15,000 just for the material.

"That's obviously an important number," he said. "It's money that we could have spent on other things, but there are things that we hold and reserve to be prepared and we always have salt and things like that standing by in case we need it. Over time, we'll be able to go back and tell the personnel costs and see what the real cost of the event is."

Hamilton said those amounts do not break the bank. Once the numbers come in, city leaders will look at the budget impacts to see if they need to talk to the City Council about future preparations.

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