CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - With another snow storm approaching. The plows should be out clearing the streets this weekend.
The 22News I-Team reveals if cities and towns have any snow removal money left after the last Nor'easter.
Most DPW budgets are already depleted. But that can be a strategy to survive the winter.
Close to two feet of snow fell on much of Western Massachusetts two weeks ago. There were mixed reactions to how well streets and sidewalks were cleared, but it was expensive. Chicopee spent more than twice its snow removal budget for the winter on the Nor'easter. Springfield spent more than half a million dollars. Holyoke has already outspent its original budget by close to $400,000.
"What's changed in 25 years is my staff is half the size it was when I first started here. I had around 100 employees and now we're around 50. We've had to find better ways of doing our work.", says William Fuqua, Holyoke DPW Director.
Less workers means more overtime as the costs of the storm continued to pile up. Several cities and towns have already spent their entire snow removal budget. Springfield's DPW director will ask the city council for more money next week. Chicopee under budgets on purpose to pull from its general fund, so it doesn't have to carry money over from year to year. Holyoke's city council already approved an additional $250,000 to its snow removal budget and more money is needed. Holyoke would have spent even more money this year if it didn't get creative. Spending $3000 total for three military style snow removing machines.
Holyoke's director of Public Works told 22News in one day these trucks paid for themselves.
"The equipment is much faster much more efficient than the old snow blowers that we used to have", says Fuqua.
With another storm on the way. Fuqua told the 22News I-Team the goal for all DPW's is the same.
"Allowing folks to park where they're used to parking and return the neighborhoods back to normal", says Fuqua.