While the City of Pella does not have a “snow removal budget”, so to speak, that doesn’t mean that the current winter’s weather hasn’t created some financial concerns. Pella Public Works Director Denny Buyert says the Street Maintenance Department is certainly seeing noticeable expenses in certain areas.
“Certain areas of out-of-pocket costs, there’s not doubt we’ve pretty much spent the entire budgets already this year,” said Buyert. “For instance, in an average year we use about 400 tons of salt. We’ve pretty much used all of that – not that we’re going to run out, as we’ve got more on our contract for this year and still had some left from last year.”
Buyert adds that with all of the snow that has fallen and the consistently cold temperatures, they’ve had to find extra help to move the snow out of heavily-trafficked areas.
“We do a lot of contract hauling, I don’t think a lot of people realize that,” said Buyert. ”In the middle of the night, we haul away from the Central Business District and the parking lots, and due to our smaller staff, during those major events we have to hire contract trucks to haul that away. We’ve had to use that quite a bit this winter, being that some of these storms occurred early on in December.”
Buyert adds that his department’s budget should hold up if the remainder of the winter is mild to average, but says more significant winter weather events will certainly pose a challenge.