Snowfalls mean extra overtime costs for Danville

Snowfalls mean extra overtime costs for Danville

DANVILLE - Danville city officials may be seeing dollar signs rather than flakes when snow falls.

Even before the latest snowfall this weekend, Danville public works officials were seeking additional city dollars to cover overtime for employees who drive the snowplow trucks and other equipment that clear city streets and parking lots.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, city administration is asking for an additional $75,000 from the city's general fund to not only cover unanticipated overtime that has already been wracked up this winter during two major snowfalls in December and earlier this month, but any additional winter accumulation that may occur the rest of this new year, according to Mayor Scott Eisenhauer.

Whether that amount of money will be enough, depends how much more snow and ice the city gets the rest of this year, according to Eisenhauer.

Bob Scott, the city's service and operations manager, said prior to this weekend's snowfall, the city was only six inches away from its record snowfall for January, which was 23 inches in 1979.

"I really don't want to make that record," said Scott, who has had to order more salt already this year to replenish the city's supply, which was actually in good shape heading into this winter, because it included salt that was left over from last year's mild winter.

Scott said the city had about 1,200 tons of salt on hand heading into this winter but ordered another 600 tons recently to replenish the supply. He said they hadn't depleted that original 1,200 tons to nothing, but decided it was time to replenish.

Scott said the city had the capability to order more now and decided to go ahead and keep it as full as possible not knowing how salt deliveries or snowfall would play out the rest of this winter.

"It just depends how long this winter is going to last," said Scott, who remembers that the heavier snowfall winters in the late 1970s. That's when the January record was set and some of those years included snowfall or ice events in March and even April.

He's hoping that is not the case this year. Scott said the goal is to just make sure the supplies are stocked for an extended period, if needed.

"So far so good," he said.

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crackerman wrote on January 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Just add a monthly "snow fee" to a proposed "fire fee"!

oakstward1 wrote on January 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Just out of curiousity aren't there other things that could be used to clean the roads or prepare for a winter storm that would be more cost effective?  Such as Salt Brine?  If  the city of Danville uses 1800 tons of Road Salt at $65.65 at ton that's $118,170.00.  Reseach show that if a Salt Brine is used and applied prior to a winter storm it can save upwards to $26,000 per snow storm.  Is the City of Danville thinking progressively and outside of the box?  Or are we creatures of habit and doing things the same way that we have always done them even though it's the year 2014 and there are other options that might save money in the long run?  I know that the city does use Grit when the temps are very low and road salt won't work until the temps rise but why not be proactive and apply the Salt Brine prior to the storm so that when the temps do start to rise the snow meltsl quicker? 

"Salt brine would be much more cost effective and brine also allows the Public Works Department to apply during normal working hours.  In addition this would allow the city to have our entire routes pre-treated before the driving conditions deteriorate.  This will help the snow/ice from bonding to the pavement surface.  As a result, the roads return to bare pavement much quicker once the storm has ended."