Getting rid of snow gets costly for BG

By Nick Carrabine REPORTER

Despite the recent inconsistencies of the new year’s weather, the city of Bowling Green always has to be prepared for snowfall.

Administrators have spent approximately $35,000 on snow removal this winter. The city keeps track of how much money it spends on the tons of salt it has used. One ton of salt is $42; so far they have used 900 tons – 800 in December alone.

This winter hasn’t been nearly as bad as the past winter, according to Dennis Slaughterbeck, parks and works superintendent.

“We used 2,100 tons of salt last winter,” he said. “On average we use about 1,500 per winter. So far this year has been lower, but the winter season is not over yet.”

The parks and works department is in charge of more than 88 miles of road across Bowling Green. This year, they have added 17 new streets to their list.

The city has a separate budget for salt, but it does not have a specific budget for the actual snow removal. A lot of the money is used for workers who work overtime. “Basically, if we use too much money for the winter, we are in trouble for the summertime,” Slaughterbeck said. “We work overtime year round, and the snow removal process takes up the majority of the overtime.”

Slaughterbeck added that the city needs to save some of that money for other things that need to be taken care of during the year.

Parks and works are in charge of all of the street signs, as well as taking care of the city’s parks, trash and recycling.

Bowling Green’s snow-removal process is different from the process in Toledo. Toledo does not pay for its salt by the ton – it pays for its salt by the shipments that come in on trucks. Also, according to Dave Welch, a city worker, they have a much bigger area to cover.

“We cover over 2,000 miles,” Welch said. “We break our snow-removal process into four phases. The first three phases alone cover over 33 routes, and we remove snow from the busiest streets first.” Since Toledo is a much bigger city, it spends a lot more money than Bowling Green on snow removal. On average, Toledo spends about $5.5 million.