HV towns feel the pinch ahead of snowstorm

Posted: Updated:

With a major snowstorm heading toward the Hudson Valley, local municipalities are stocking up on salt to clear roads, but this year, traffic safety will come at a higher price.

Wayne Ballard, of the Clarkstown Highway Department, says there are about 4,500 tons of salt ready to be sprinkled once the inches start piling up on the ground. However, Ballard says the trouble is the price of salt just went up about 25 percent.

"All the highway departments buy from one source, and it's going to be a budgetary issue," he says. "But our barn is fully loaded and ready to go."

Aside from the rising cost of salt, Ballard says local taxpayers will have to shell out more to cover rising costs of energy, labor and health insurance. Still, when it comes to a major snowstorm, Ballard says money is not the town?s top priority.

"If people can't get to where they need to go tomorrow, like work, school or the doctors, the economical impact would be tremendous," Ballard says. "So our first line of defense is to get those roads safe for the public to travel on."

Clarkstown expects to bring in extra workers for the weekend. Since the previous season was a light one for snow removal, there is enough money in this year's budget for overtime and the extra workers to take on the first major storm of the season.

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