By John Swinconeck, Contributing Writer
Northborough ??” Unrelenting snow and ice do not just break plows and shovels – it also breaks the bank. Specifically, Northborough's snow and ice removal budget, which is running a deficit, thanks to wintry weather that continued past the first day of spring.
According to Town Administrator John Coderre, the fiscal year snow and ice budget is over-budget due, in part, to a snowier than usual season.
While it is difficult to predict next year's weather, there are plans to shore up funding for the snow and ice budget. Coderre is requesting a $46,500 increase for snow and ice removal in the next budget. Residents at the April 22 Annual Town Meeting will then decide on the proposed funding increase.
Snow removal in Northborough is a team effort. According to the town's website, “All snow removal work is done by the highway crew with the addition of the water and sewer staff and seven contractors.”
Crews begin sanding and salting at the start of a storm, and plowing starts when snow accumulates to three inches. Once the storm is over, the remaining snow is cleared and roads are sanded and salted again.
In order to pay for all the sanding, salting and plowing Northborough needed, the town fell into deficit spending. According to Coderre, selectmen and the Appropriations Committee can draw $150,000 from the town's emergency account.
In addition, the town can transfer 3 percent, or $5,000, from any budgets that have remaining balances at the end of the fiscal year.
“Our goal is to deal with overages in the current fiscal year,” Coderre said.