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Knox: Snow Budget 'Exhausted' in Malden

After tackling a couple snowstorms this winter, the snow budget has already been "exhausted," according to DPW Director Bob Knox Jr.

Shoveling snow. Credit: File photo
Shoveling snow. Credit: File photo
After tackling a couple snowstorms this winter, the snow budget has already been "exhausted," according to DPW Director Bob Knox Jr.

The DPW's snow maintenance budget was $200,000; however, $450,000 was spent dealing with recent snowstorms, according to Knox.

"Year to date we have already exhausted the current year’s snow budget. Any costs above the budget will have to be made up next fiscal year," he said. "The costs vary from year to year and are very difficult to predict. For example, two years ago we only spent $200,000 on snow removal."

The city has spent about $180,000 for salt, $130,000 for private contracting services, $100,000 in DPW overtime and miscellaneous stock and repairs were $40,000, according to Knox.

"The approximate cost of the Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 storm was $185,000. This was the most expensive storm given the duration of the snow fall (approximately 32 hours); the amount of snow to clear (approximately 15 inches); and the additional services needed to clear sidewalks and increase walkability for pedestrians," Knox said. "I want to thank the efforts of all the departments that worked together to make the snow operations a success."

Like this year, the city had to go over the $200,000 budgeted for snow maintenance last year, spending $1.1 million, according to Knox. Fortunately, the DPW was able to upgrade some of their fleet and thus far have dealt with fewer mechanical issues.

"Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Gary Christenson and the City Council, the approval of the Capital Improvement Plan allowed us five new winter trucks," Knox said. "With the addition of new equipment along with the work of the DPW staff in maintaining the equipment, we have been fortunate so far this year that only minor repairs have been necessary." 
david mokal January 13, 2014 at 03:32 PM
That's the idea become self sufficent. New Equipment and no outside contractors. In New York the rubish trucks have plows mounted on them. There was one time that the MTA now the MBTA would plow all the main roads that the buses would travell.
Malden Grammie January 13, 2014 at 05:49 PM
Since the Malden real estate tax has gone up (mine $110 this year) and how many thousands of homes in Malden.......well that should cover it! as a matter of fact, the City of Malden should have a surplus!
jirkyrick January 13, 2014 at 07:27 PM
110, that's a lot of blue bags
Kathleen Simone January 14, 2014 at 06:39 AM
Why don't towns budget more for snow removal? Every year they go over budget (and I'm not just talking about Malden), and then they budget the same, obviously inadequate amount for the next year.
coldwaterdiver January 14, 2014 at 07:47 AM
Its a constant shell game, they always under estimate the snow budget, knowing state law allows them to "borrow" more for next year. I'm guessing that they spent more than 400K last year, and the year before that, so budgeting such a small amount is just setting up to fail. What gets me is they did such a poor job in general on the plowing, and they still spent all the money.
david mokal January 14, 2014 at 01:44 PM
Its not the city employees that do a rotten job its the outsiders they hire. They rip off mirrors plow towards the parked cars, and they dont want to lower the plows scared that the'll wreck the plows.
Matthew January 14, 2014 at 04:09 PM
No, the city plow drivers are even worse.

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