Durango Telegraph - Steep snow removal â?? Durango faces mounting costs
Steep snow removal â?? Durango faces mounting costs

The winter of 2009-10 appears to be waning, but snow removal efforts, and the resulting bill, continue to mount.

As of this week, the City of Durango had overspent its contractor snow-removal budget by almost quadruple. “Our budget was for $64,000 for contractor snow-removal,” said Director of Public Works Jack Rogers. “Right now, we’ve spent $250,000. And we’re still getting complaints of not doing enough.”

Rogers said the City hires private contractors to help out in the case of severe snow events, such as the series of storms that hit the area this winter. “We had between 10 and 15 contractor dump trucks working at one time downtown to remove snow,” he said.

As of now, the City has returned to relying on its own crews and equipment. However, the job of snow removal is ongoing, even in March. “We have some priority areas we’re going to do this week. We’ll keep removing snow until all the problems are gone or they melt,” Rogers said.

As for the budget woes, they are unlikely to disappear so easily. “We’ll be sitting down with the city manager to look at areas to cut back on in the near future,” said Rogers. “We’ll have to do less of something else.”

This could come in the form of street maintenance (read pot holes), chip and seal, and crack filling.

Despite the toll this winter took, Rogers said it still lagged behind the epic winter of 1993 and the infamous Community Concert Hall roof cave-in. “At least the sun is shining,” he noted. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

– Missy Votel

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