City plows through snow removal budget

After multiple winter storms have hit northwest Missouri, St. Joseph street crews have plowed through nearly 60 percent of their budget for the year.

Posted: Jan. 30, 2019 6:37 PM

(ST.JOSEPH,MO) After multiple winter storms have hit northwest Missouri, St. Joseph street crews have plowed through nearly 60 percent of their budget for the year. Since November 25, 2018, crews responded to 10 winter storms, totalling 18.13 inches of accumulated snow and ice.

Over the last two months crews have driven 25,098 miles, laying down 4,632.43 tons of salt. So far the city has spent $381,300.43 for snow and ice removal, with salt and materials costing $309,260.70, labor costs at $59,791.90 and fuel costing $12,247.82.

The city has contributed 26,666 man hours, but Andy Clements, director of Public Works, said maintaining staff is the biggest obstacle for street crews.

“We’ve had a lot of issues with staff turnover, because of various pay issues with out guys.A lot of times we are down to running 12 and 13 trucks.We’ve had issue with [the] staffing necessary to keep vehicles on the road, that’s probably been our biggest challenge,” Clements said. “Our guys are working 12 hours shifts continuously, sometimes for a week or more for each event. It’s really hard on the guys, they work hard, they do a good job, but it’s a big effort.”

Clements said crews work 12 hour shifts, with storms taking 72-96 hours to clear the streets. During winter storms, street crews operate up to 17 plows and trucks, with staff ranging between 25-27 employees per shift.

Clements said it costs approximately $21,037.26 per inch of snow accumulated and each storm costs the city approximately $38,130.44.

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Another quiet day is on tap for Tuesday. Expect a mix of sun and clouds into the afternoon. Highs will be near average in the upper 50s. We'll see more sunshine into Wednesday. Temperatures during this time will be warming up to near 70 degrees.
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