Geared up for winter
Greenfield’s sand, salt fully stocked, plow trucks ready
A plow clears snow from the parking lot on School Street in Greenfield
A car waits for a snowplow to pass by on Thayer Road in Greenfield
GREENFIELD — The town is ready for winter, according to its public works field superintendent.
“We geared up for the storm we were supposed to get a couple of weeks ago, so the sanders are ready to roll,” said Marlo Warner.
He said plows are ready to be harnessed to trucks and sand and salt are stockpiled.
Town Council voted this week to transfer $500 into the public works snow and ice budget after learning the town under-funded that account by that amount.
Marjorie Lane Kelly, the town’s financial director explained that the town’s snow and ice budget is the only one that allows deficit spending each year because of the unpredictability of weather.
Kelly said she isn’t sure how it happened, but the snow and ice budget for Fiscal 2013 was budgeted at $199,500 and the year before it was funded at $200,000.
She told councilors that the only way the state allows deficit spending on snow and ice is if it is funded at the same amount it was the year before.
Department of Public Works Director Sandra Shields was on vacation this week, so was not available with figures for how much the town has spent on snow and ice in the past several years, but according to past reporting, it spends about what is budgeted each year and in extra snowy and icy years, a little more.
Warner said the winter fleet consists of 10 smaller plow trucks, 13 single-axle dump trucks, one 10-wheeler, and five full-time sanders. He said public works also has a spare sander, if needed.
“A lot of people depend on us, so it’s important we do the best job to the best of our ability, and that means being prepared,” said Warner. “We want to be ready so we make sure kids can get to school and firefighters can get to fires.”