Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 21, 2013

Blizzard cost ballparked at $550,000

By Dustin Luca
Staff Writer

---- — The town dished out around $550,000 while responding to last weekend’s blizzard, paying crews to spend nearly five days clearing out two feet of snow.

Just over $1.2 million was appropriated for snow removal in Andover this year, and with the storm over, the town has spent $1.1 million, according to Department of Public Works Business Manager Sandy Gerraughty.

The town estimates that $301,560 was spent clearing Andover roads during the storm alone, with an estimated $250,000 going into removing snow after the fact, Gerraughty said.

The final tally will be available once the town receives all of its bills from private contractors hired during the event, according to DPW acting Director Chris Cronin.

The $550,000 figure, a working number, is an all-inclusive amount including everything from plowing to sidewalk clearing, he said.

The number doesn’t include the cost to repair or replace a $100,000 town sanding truck that was damaged in an accident after the storm. As of last week, Cronin said it wasn’t known whether the truck could be repaired or if it would have to be replaced.

While the cost to clear the roads may be high, it would have been higher had it not been for an executive order by the governor banning road travel during the storm, according to Gerraughty.

“When you go to clear a road, if you have a traffic jam, if you’re sitting in traffic, the plows aren’t moving either,” she said. “It definitely helped make it more manageable because it kept cars off the road so we could have clear sweeps of treating the roads without cars traveling. It was very helpful.”