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With snow budget depleted, Nashua dips into trust fund

Union Leader Correspondent

March 10. 2014 9:26PM

NASHUA — The city's snow removal budget has already been depleted, forcing city officials to purchase additional salt supplies and tap into a trust fund designed for weather-related emergencies.

This is the second year in a row that Nashua has exhausted its snow removal budget that totaled $1.2 million last year and hovers around $1.3 million this year. City officials have a backup plan in place for these types of instances, however, which includes a snow removal trust fund of $300,000.

Because of the significant snowfall this winter, the aldermanic Finance Committee recently authorized a contractual increase to purchase an additional $115,000 in salt supplies. A subsequent request was then made for a second purchase of $60,000 more in salt.

According to Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, the second request was made due to concerns of obtaining prompt delivery of the salt supplies this season.

With spring just 10 days away, about $33,000 has been used from the city's snow removal trust fund to pay for snow removal overtime costs, Lozeau said in a memo to the Board of Aldermen.

After the additional salt purchases and overtime costs, there is about $94,000 remaining in the $300,000 snow removal trust fund, Lozeau said.

As a result, she is proposing that $200,000 from the city's general contingency fund be transferred to the snow removal trust fund to replenish the account.

"This transfer will provide funding for snow removal costs should additional snow and ice events occur over the next few weeks," Lozeau said in the memo.

"Every storm is different. It is difficult to say how much (money) is spent on each storm," Lozeau said earlier. "I think that we are all fortunate in Nashua that people understand the importance of having a backup plan in place. Last year, we went into the trust fund, so it is very beneficial."

She also commended the city's Public Works crews for their continuing efforts in keeping the roads clear.

"The staff has done a remarkable job, and I am really proud of them," Lozeau said recently.

On average, the city uses about 8,000 tons of salt each winter, along with 1,500 to 2,000 tons of sand and about 2,500 gallons of fuel during each major snow event in the city. There are more than 1,400 streets to plow and more than 765 lane miles to clear in Nashua during each snowstorm.

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