City leaders: Snow removal budgets safe for now

December 06, 2018 09:39 AM

It is a necessary evil -- snow removal in the Capital District and beyond. However, with early snowfall this season, budgets are being squeezed. Still, crews NewsChannel 13 spoke with say they're ready for Mother Nature.

Albany city officials say they've ordered $87,000 worth of salt and are ready to go for our next snowstorm. 

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There are more than 200 employees working for the Department of General Services -- and 125 pieces of equipment to help clear the snow.

Crews work in two 12-hour shifts when the snow falls, plowing 25 routes in Albany. They focus on clearing the primary and secondary roads first -- including routes to the hospitals for first responders, before getting to the tertiary roads.

When the trucks aren't used for snow removal, the city says they are used for leaf pick up, concrete projects and more. Because these trucks are so expensive, they try to get the most use they can.

The city budgeted $550,000 for salt and $274,000 for snow removal contracts in 2018. Already, the city's Department of General Services commissioner, Sergio Panunzio, says they've hit $19,000 in OT just from the three storms last month. 

City officials are reminding us it's always difficult to predict Mother Nature. However, breaking down totals, they've purchased 9,000 tons of salt, going over budget $136,000.

Over in Troy, the city surpassed its 2018 OT and salt budget of $155,000 and $374,000, but say they're ready for whatever Mother Nature brings in the next few weeks of 2018.

NewsChannel 13 is still waiting to hear back from the city of Schenectady. We've asked the New York State Department of Transportation for the same figures. While they work to get us those numbers, officials want to assure the public they've got sufficient resources to address the snow and ice across 37,000 miles of highway across the state, along with 1,600 large snowplows.


Jill Konopka

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