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March 19. 2013 9:13PM

Snow buries Derry budget

DERRY - The town's snow and ice removal budget is currently about $45,000 over what was budgeted for the current fiscal year, and the latest round of winter weather could add another $50,000 to that total.

The public works budget comprises four major line items for snow and ice removal, according to Public Works Director Mike Fowler.

Before the latest storm, the town had spent more than budgeted for the DPW employee overtime and contractor plowing line items, but was under budget for materials and diesel fuel, according to Fowler.

Overall, the town had $548,274 budgeted for snow and ice removal for fiscal year 2013 and has spent $594,573.

"The current storm will likely add another $50,000 by the time it is completed, but those invoices will not be processed for a few weeks," said Fowler. "The town makes an attempt to budget responsibly for an average winter. Traditionally, the snow and ice budget has been around $600,000, but the budget for fiscal year 2013 was reduced by approximately $50,000 recognizing that we had a healthy stock of salt in our shed to start the season."

Once the final numbers are in, Fowler said he will review the bottom line budget of all the DPW divisions.

"The first place we look to cover the overage in the snow and ice line would be from other line items within the DPW budget, which may include postponing a roadway paving job until the following fiscal year," he said. "Beyond those measures, we could ask the Town Council to use funds from a dedicated snow and ice reserve fund established for those purposes."

The current balance in that account is just over $100,000, Fowler said.

There is also a chance FEMA could reimburse 75 percent of the costs from winter storm Nemo in early February.

"We have provided preliminary information to FEMA," he said. "If a disaster is declared for winter storm Nemo, Derry stands to recover between $90,000 and $110,000.

Fowler said he is confident the department will be able to balance the bottom line once the final invoices have arrived.

aswift@newstote.com

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