City activates forces to fight effects of snow storm

The overnight snowstorm, whatever its dimension, will be an expensive one, according to City Manager Jay Ash.

The city’s snow removal budget was wiped out in the last storm about two weeks ago and stood at $95,000 spent so far this winter.

Ash estimated that the cost for snow removal for the current storm could go as high as $50,000, in a worst case scenario.

“Money comes from the annual budget, supported by property taxes and local aid. On occasion, the State will send additional funds back to the cities and towns when big snow storms hit. That hasn’t happened this year and is not anticipated for this storm,” Ash said.

Chelsea has ramped up its snow emergency protocol during the past several years.

Eight new flashing blue lights put up at strategic locations throughout the city better notify residents of a snow emergency.

Those new lights were activated for the first time Wednesday morning.

There are now 14 installed around the community, according to Ash.

Additionally, the city has used a reverse 911 call system to notify residents of a coming snow emergency.

These calls began going out 5:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Ash said.

The calls primarily went to residents living along the snow emergency routes.

Additionally, all members of the Chamber of Commerce were e-mailed directly once the snow emergency was declared.

“This was a first,” said Ash.

“It allowed businesspeople to figure out exactly how to respond to the business situation which, of course, is affected by the parking ban,” he added.

The city also placed news of the snow emergency on Channel 15, directly from city hall, where officials have direct control of postings on that channel.

News of the snow emergency was announced on the City of Chelsea website as well.

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