Springhill, Parrsboro optimistic for snow removal budgets

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SPRINGHILL – It’s been a lot of snow to move and, with a little luck, there will very little more to remove, but with three more months of potential snowfall still on the calendar public works departments in the area are being cautiously optimistic.

The Town of Springhill offers its department a lump sum towards snow removal each year and so far 2012-2013 has been demanding, public works director Brian Herteis says.

“I think we’re still within budget but as time goes on we could exceed it,” Herteis said. “We could stay within that, but with three months of potential snowfall it’s hard to say for sure what will happen.”

In addition to the snowfall, the town has also had to contend with extremely low temperatures, making road salting ineffective.

“The problem is when we’re having minus 15, minus 20 temperatures salt becomes ineffective and the base of hills and intersections basically become sheer ice,” Herteis said.

The town turned to using sand to assist motorists approaching intersections and the community’s many hilled areas, and found the sand they needed locally.

“We got the material from the duft banks,” Herteis said. “We mixed salt with the sand to give a little more grip.”

The town does not historically store its own sand like it does salt and Herteis said in the future he’d like to find a way of storing a readily available supply.

In the interim, Springhill was taking advantage of the warm temperatures on Monday to continue its clean up in the community. With narrow streets to work with, work crews were out pushing back snow banks and making room for future snowfall.

“If anything, I really have to say the guys in the department have been really doing a good job,” Herteis said.

Springhill isn’t alone in its fight against the freeze and fall. Parrsboro Chief Administrative Officer Ray Hickey says the Fundy Shore community plans for the worst during the winter and this year no one was let down by Mother Nature.  

“There’s been a lot of time put in by staff to keep up with it. It’s been a lot worse than last year at this point in time.”

Going into the snowfall season with pessimistic predictions, Hickey said Parrsboro, too, could stay within its budget. 

“There’s no sign that we’re going to be over budget at this point in time,” Hickey said. “We’re hoping the next period will be better than December has been.”

Like just about every community in Cumberland County communities, Parrsboro was tackling a lot up front with extreme cold tailing behind it.

“It’s safe to say we’ve had about five times as much snow than at this point last year, with significantly more time put in to keep up with it,” Hickey said. “Ice has been the real issue because it’s so hard to get rid of, especially when it’s -20.”

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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