DERRY — Town councilors agreed Tuesday night to tap into a special fund to cover $106,399 in snow removal costs for this past winter.
The council voted 7-0 to approve a supplemental appropriation to use all of the winter/snow capital reserve fund. It marked the first time the fund has been used since it was established about 10 years ago, Public Works Director Michael Fowler said.
An unusual number of storms caused the department’s Highway Division to exceed its $607,000 budget by approximately $228,000, Fowler said.
“I just want to put out there that this $106,000 doesn’t satisfy all of the overage, but we do feel confident that we can make up the difference in our budget,” Fowler said.
Fowler said there are areas that he will be paring back on; there have been some personnel changes that have left some funds available.
He added that approval of the appropriation will not have any tax impact, as the funds are in capital reserve.
During the winter, the Highway Division was called on to conduct 54 salting and 27 plowing operations. The unusually high number of operations caused the division to expend more than budgeted for overtime and equipment costs, according to a report prepared by Fowler.
The 2014 Highway Division had budgeted $124,150 for overtime, but exceeded the figure by $43,969. It also budgeted $207,360 for contractors, but exceeded that figure by $120,630.
“We feel that this represents an average winter; this year certainly wasn’t an average winter,” Fowler said of the budget that had been set aside for fiscal year 2014.