LEWISTON — Twin Cities' snowplowing expenses are close to budget levels, thanks to a snowier-than-average winter.
Public Works Director Dave Jones said the city has spent about 75 percent of its budget devoted to clearing snow from Lewiston's streets. That includes equipment costs, supplies such as sand and salt, and wages and overtime.
"We still are in pretty good shape, and I'm hoping we're mostly done with storms," Jones said. "We may get a storm or two, but I think we'll be OK as far as the budget is concerned."
Jones said Lewiston has about $35,000 left in the Public Works overtime winter budget and about $100,000 in regular-time wages.
"This year doesn't look too bad for us," Jones said. "We'll have to see what happens for the rest of the month."
Auburn Public Works Director Denis D'Auteuil said his department has not been quite as lucky. Auburn went 6 percent over budget on the overtime line item with this past weekend's storm. That storm also put the city 11 percent over its budget for road salt.
"We've had a lot of weekend storms, and we had more this year than last year," D'Auteuil said. "Even the small storms cost money. They may not be the big nor'easters, but we still have to put material down. We still have to plow the roads, even with a couple of inches of snow."
L-A has received about 75 inches of snow this winter, about 10 inches more than average, Jones said. About 26 inches came from one storm, the multiple-day storm that blew through New England on Feb. 8-10.
"Without that, we would have been a little below average," Jones said.
It's a contrast to last year's winter, which saw fewer heavy storms and most came on weekdays, letting the cities avoid overtime costs.
"Remember, last year they were opening golf courses around here in the middle of March," Jones said. "We didn't have much of a winter last year — only had 30 or 40 inches of snow. It was a great winter for us."
D'Auteuil said the budget for the rest of Auburn's Public Works Department is on track.
"We're not in any risk of going over our department budget, just these particular line items," D'Auteuil said. "We don't see any service interruptions because of this or problems with other categories."