To see a comparison of costs from this winter to previous years, dating back to 1997, click here.
A winter on pace to be one of the most expensive ever for the city of Beatrice, in terms of snow removal costs, was cause for the Board of Public Works to review snow removal policy Wednesday.
BPW officials estimated the city will spend more than $200,000 on snow removal this winter. Last year the city spent just $82,794 on snow removal. The city’s most expensive winter on record came in 2000-01, when more than $200,000 was spent on snow removal.
In a report to BPW, street department superintendent Ron Baete outlined the procedure for snow removal in the city.
Under the current policy, the city’s street department takes to the streets with plows after two inches of snow have fallen. Baete said most other cities begin plowing after four inches of snow have fallen.
The goal, the report states, is to “(Keep) 100 percent of of the emergency snow route system open to traffic every winter storm without regard to the storm’s intensity.”
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Baete said this includes spreading salt, sand or other de-icing agents to the emergency routes, and “plowing snow on emergency snow routes continuously throughout each snow storm, which can take between three and five hours.
As crews work on major arterial streets, residential areas are also to be plowed “curb-to-curb within eight to ten hours after the end of each plowable snowstorm.”
The third phase of snow removal includes removing snow from the central business district, outlying business districts by spreading salt to melt snow when temperature allows and ridging and hauling snow away.
BPW officials discussed changing the policy, and not sending the plows out until after four inches of snow had accumulated.
Upon the recommendation of BPW manager and City Administrator Neal Niedfeldt and Baete, the board accepted the current policy without any amendments or changes.