January 13

Kennebec County towns, cities seeing higher costs in aftermath of icy weather

Municipalities are reporting depleted salt and sand piles and higher overtime costs, but Kennebec County has yet to qualify for federal aid for damages from the December ice storm.

By Paul Koenig pkoenig@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

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click image to enlarge

SAND: Tom Purty collects a pail of sand Monday at Augusta Public Works. Icy weather this winter has eaten into municipal sand and salt supplies, but most municipalities expect to make it through the winter if the state doesn’t see a repeat of December weather. Cities are also reporting dwindling amounts of budgeted overtime for plowing and snow removal.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

click image to enlarge

SALT: Augusta Public Works employee Ross Boucher collects a shovel Monday from the city’s salt pile while unloading a plow truck. Icy weather this winter has eaten into municipal sand and salt supplies, but most municipalities expect to make it through the winter if the state doesn’t see a repeat of December weather.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

Report damages to state

The Maine Emergency Management Agency is still asking households and businesses to report damages from the December ice storm to determine whether the state is eligible to receive federal funds.

The state could receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency if it’s shown that enough households were damaged as a result of the storm that caused more than 200,000 power outages statewide. For businesses owners, damages can include lost revenue because of the storm.

Call 211, toll free, to report damages.

Only one report per household is needed.

 

MEMA advises:

• List and document the damages with as much detail as you can.

• Keep records and receipts of any repairs you have done.

• Call your insurance agent to see if the damage is covered.

 

Source: Maine Emergency Management Agency

So far, the town has used 2,500 yards of sand, about 55 percent of its total, for the roads, he said. The town has also given out about 100 yards to residents, Hickey said.

At least one municipality — Belgrade — has run out of salt, according to the town manager.

The town has enough of a sand-salt mixture to handle at least two more storms, but its salt reserve is empty, Town Manager Greg Gill said. He hopes that the town’s order for more salt will be filled next week.

The head of the company that supplies the town with sand and mixes it with salt, LR Nadeau Inc. in Manchester, said he has been refilling salt sheds for customers a lot sooner this winter. Larry Nadeau, of Litchfield, said typically he gets requests for more salt-sand mixing in the middle of February, but icy weather in December caused sheds to run out soon after the ice storm hit. Nadeau’s company delivers and mixes sand and salt for its customers, who are responsible for ordering salt.

He said customers who didn’t plan ahead ended up not getting more salt when needed because one of the major salt distributors in the state, Harcros Chemicals, a national company with a salt storehouse in Searsport, ran out.

A request for comment from Harcros Chemicals’ Westbrook office was referred to the national headquarters in Kansas, where a phone call was not returned.

Paul Koenig — 207-621-5663 pkoenig@centralmaine.com Twitter: @paul_koenig
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