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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 11, 2013, 09:56 PM

Snow removal costs add up to thousands in Metro

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Each hour a snow storms lasts chalks up thousands of dollars in city wide spending.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Each hour a snow storms lasts chalks up thousands of dollars in city wide spending.

From overtime to fuel costs... the price it takes for local public works employees to clear roads during rough weather is growing.

Even before snow starts falling, crews from Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead are hard at work. But when storms like this one last an entire day, city costs start to really add up.

Ben Dow: The equipment breaks down and repairs cost, material we're putting out on the road, the sand, the salt, that also adds up, and the overtime. But the fuel is the big thing.

Each hour of storm cleanup costs about 500 dollars in fuel. Overtime pay is double that. So for each 24-hour storm, a roughly 36-thousand dollar bill follows.

Compared it's neighbors, Fargo's number is high. Cities like West Fargo don't spend as much in overtime or operational costs.

Dow: "We're a lot larger fleet, we're a lot larger. So when you add cutting edges and everything like that to it, ours add up a lot faster. We use just a huge amount of chemical. We've gone through 3,000 tons of salt already this year."

Meaning less salt, sand, and ultimately money..to use next season.

The Fargo Public works director says he hasn't seen this much accumulation hit over a day long period in several years.

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