Brunswick's storm budget on par with past years

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BRUNSWICK — Just as snow began to cover Maine again on Wednesday, Public Works Director John Foster said the town’s storm budget is trending normally and is not at risk of going into a deficit.

A storm-heavy December and a lighter January brought the town to about $275,000 of its nearly $450,000 storm budget, which includes expenditures for salt and sand for roads and walkways, overtime for employees, and a budget for plow contractors.

“It’s where we expect to be normally this time of year, but there’s no normal to weather,” Foster said, noting the unpredictable nature of Maine weather. “It was a little heavy at first, January was lighter, and we don’t know what March and April will bring. It’s not an unusual amount to be expended at this point.”

While most of the storm budget is in good shape, Foster said, spending on sand has reached $12,000 above planned expenditures. He said the extra order of sand was a result of ice brought on by freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures, which can make salt less effective.

“That requires for us to do repeated sand applications,” Foster said, “and when it rains, it washes the sand away.”

Foster estimated the town has received about 52 inches of snow so far this winter. He said there have been nine events where plow trucks had to go out in full force, and 10 others where roads and walkways had to be treated for ice.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.