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May 05. 2014 8:56PM

Harsh winter proved to be costly for Derry DPW

DERRY — It proved to be an especially harsh and costly winter for the town.

For the first time, town councilors tonight will consider a recommendation by the town’s Department of Public Works to tap into a special fund to cover snow removal costs from this past winter.

The unusual number of storms and frequent snowfalls caused the department’s Highway Division to exceed its $607,000 budget by approximately $229,000, Michael Fowler, director of Public Works, wrote in a report to the council.

The Department of Public Works seeks to tap into the special Winter/Snow Capital Reserve fund for $106,399, Fowler wrote. The remaining overage would then be absorbed within the Fiscal Year 2014 General Fund Budget for Public Works.

“If approved, this will be the first time funds will be utilized by the Winter Snow/Ice Control Fund, which was established about 10 years ago,” Fowler wrote. “These funds were set aside in the Capital Reserve Fund for just this situation.”

Fowler went on to write that the funds could be restored in the future when the town experiences a mild winter.

During the extreme winter, the Highway Division was called on to conduct 54 salting and 27 plowing operations in town. The unusually high number of operations caused the division to expend more than budgeted for overtime and equipment costs, according to the report.

The 2014 Highway Division had budgeted $124,150 for overtime, but exceeded that figure by $43,969. It also budgeted $207,360 for contractors but exceeded that figure by $120,630, Fowler wrote.

The council is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor meeting room of the Municipal Center.


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