Mild winter helping town crews

With the unusual weather the area has been experiencing again this winter, Public Works crew have had time usually spent battling the elements to prepare for spring.
“Because of the lack of snow, we’re able to work on other things,” Operations and Facilities manager Pat Hickerson said Friday morning.
“There’s been quite a bit of hydrant maintenance. We’ve done some work on a water line at the sewage treatment plant that may have otherwise waited until later,” he noted.
“And we’ve been tending to equipment, cleaning up and preparing for the upcoming summer,” he added.
Other activity has included trimming tree branches and clearing storm drains.
And the lack of snow has meant savings for the town’s winter control budget so far this season.
“I haven’t looked at the specific numbers so it wouldn’t be possible to say how much we’ve saved,” Hickerson said.
“But I can say we certainly haven’t had much need for after-hours activity,” he added, referring to one of most costly aspects of snow removal.
Hickerson noted the winter control budget is split into several areas, such as sanding, snow removal, and sidewalk plowing.
But he stressed that since the budget runs year to year and not winter to winter, there’s no guarantee that saving money now will amount to anything by the time the end of December rolls around.
“The chances of something happening in the fall can definitely eat up anything we’ve saved,” Hickerson said. “And other maintenance problems could up at any time, proving costly.”