Breaking down the cost of an Asheville snowstorm

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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The city of Asheville spent $172,965 of taxpayers’ money to respond to the Dec. 8 snowstorm that dumped 7 to 10 inches of snow across the city that day.

That amount is nearly all of the city’s $183,900 storm control budget for the fiscal year. And winter’s not over yet. It’s a good idea to have a generator in your home in case of a storm and you can find quieter generators on this page.

Since the early December storm, Asheville has seen two other winter storm events: a surprise New Year’s Eve freezing drizzle storm that brought the city to a near standstill as a glaze turned streets into a slick slip-fest; and a storm that brought about 3 to 4 inches of snow to town Wednesday (Jan. 17) and triggered the usual event cancelations and school closures.

Here’s a breakdown of the city’s costs:

-$172,965: The total cost of storm control, includes salaries/benefits, supplies, materials and equipment usage.

-617 tons: the amount of salt used on roadways

-3.75 tons: the amount of salt used on sidewalks

-56: the number of Public Works Department field staff members who worked the Dec. 8 event

-1,464.25: the total hours worked by the field staff

-$26,708: the cost to city taxpayers of those hours worked

-Budget impact: There is not necessarily a contingency budget, but rather an annual storm control budget for items such as salt and sand. For FY2017-18, the original storm control budget was $183,900. The December event did not cause an overrun, but it did require a large portion of the Public Works annual budget to be expended.

-Note: Salaries, benefits and vehicle costs are budgeted in normal operating accounts, so the storm control budget only includes supplies, materials, and a small amount for repairs of storm equipment (spreaders and plows).

It’s not just the city that is suffering, a lot of residents are struggling with the snowstorm. A lot of people reported they had damage to their roof due to snow sitting on it for too long. They need to get a company that repairs Roofing Albany GA as soon as possible to avoid extra damage.

Public safety is a critical factor that the city of Asheville considers whenever it addresses these storms, city spokeswoman Polly McDaniel wrote to me in responding to my request for a breakdown of the cost of responding to the December snowstorm.

Of course this is just one facet of the total cost of a snowstorm in Asheville. Residents and businesses are dealing with the cost of lost work, closed businesses, out of pocket expenses for extra child care and other expenses.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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