Sunday, January 15, 2017
Snow and Ice ...deficits keep growing
In a Gardner news article "Winter Cleanup Bill is Mounting", a good explanation is given regarding the costs budgeted for Snow and Ice in Gardner.
The Snow and Ice account is one account that can be deficit spent. Gardner currently budgets $300,000 per year for Snow and Ice and uses Free Cash if they spend more that than $300,000 for Snow and Ice removal for that fiscal year.
Gardner is also one of 15 communities that have switched over from using a 3:1 ratio of sand/salt mixture to treat the roads. FGardner currently uses a product called Clearlane (green sand) produced by Cargill Deicing Technology.
The cost of Clearlane is more expensive than per ton than white rock salt, but less is used and used without sand so there is no Spring sand cleanup.
So why can't Templeton use a product like Clearlane?
The selectmen in Templeton have raided this year's snow and ice to purchase a piece of equipment for the highway department. In order to convert over to a product like Clearlane a few things would need to happen and those things cost money...money Templeton does not have.
Also, with the budget to actuals for FY 17 being produced infrequently, it is difficult to know how much has been spent on snow and ice operations in Templeton this year.
Storage of Clearlane( green sand) would be an issue in Templeton as well.
Stay tuned. There may be an update of how much money is left in the FY 17 Snow and Ice account! While this account can be deficit spent, the money is taken off the top of the FY 18 budget. The Municipal Modernization Act allows town's to repay any snow & ice cost overruns over a three year period. Yes! More robbing Peter to pay Paul!