Warm and Snowless Winter Good for 2013 City Budget

The salt piles on Marginal Street rise up full and high toward the sky in mid-March and they’ve been in that shape and form all winter during a season that never really arrived.

The unusually snowless and iceless winter has cost the city a pittance for plowing and sanding or salting, according to City Manager Jay Ash.

But before you start to think that there is an abundance of unused cash sitting in the city treasury, you are wrong.

Ash said that Chelsea, from year to year, sets aside $100,000 for plowing, sanding and icing. He said that figure is low and appears such but that the reality of small city like Chelsea is that there are only 40 miles of roads to be dealt with as compared with other much larger cities whose hundreds of miles of roadway require millions to be set aside.

Chelsea has so far spent $61,000 this year for plowing, sanding and salting.

“A great deal of that money was spent on the early snowstorm we had at the end of October,” Ash said. “We’ve also had to salt roadways from time to time because of icing conditions. It is always the nuisance of ice and salting that costs so much money,” he added.

“Even though it hasn’t snowed, we’ve had icing and that can change everything,” he said.

The remaining $39,000 will be left right where it is-in the city treasury according to state law.

In 2009/2010 winter season, the city spent $219,000.

In the 2010-2011 winter season, the city spent $237,000.

Even though this year is a big winner for the city, in the real scheme of things, $39,000 is not a lot of money for a municipality like Chelsea.

When budget time comes again, Chelsea is $39,000 ahead which means only $61,000 has to be found to have the snow account where it ought to be.

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