Snow removal cost hits $150,000 |

Snow removal cost hits $150,000

Digging out of the snow has cost Nevada County $150,000 for the month of March, county Transportation and Sanitation director Michael Hill-Weld said Thursday.

The county has paid its workers for 2,225 hours of snow-removal labor, including about 1,225 regular hours and 800 overtime hours.

“We budget adequate funds for one or two events like this every year,” Hill-Weld said. “We know there’s a 90-percent chance there’s going to be a major winter-weather event in the second or third week of March. That’s when we get our biggest storms.”

In recent snowless years, that extra money in the budget has been spent in the spring to fix potholes.

Not this year.

But California’s voters are giving the county road system a surprise: In January, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation funding Proposition 42, a voter-approved measure that makes sure fuel taxes are spent maintaining roadways.

Nevada County’s share is $671,000, which will fill the hole being left by the overtime snow removal. “This is the year we need it,” Hill-Weld said.

That also means county road projects that have been delayed for lack of funds will continue to get put off.

“We no longer expect to get ahead,” Hill-Weld said.


To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion .com or call 477-4231.

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