January 3

‘Old fashioned, cold Maine winter’ drains Augusta-area resources

Public works crews in the capital area are using salt and sand more quickly this year in an effort to help drivers get around town.

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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SLICK ROADS: Mechanic Rick Merrill fixes a nozzle on a liquid calcium chloride dispenser on the back of a plow truck on Friday in the garage at the John Charest Public Works Facility in Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

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Starn said the storms have seemed to come on weekends, when the city pays crews overtime. He said, through December, Hallowell had spent $3,000 of the $19,000 budgeted for overtime for snow removal.

“I think we may end up ordering a little more sand, and quite a bit more salt,” Starn said. “Bottom line, I think we’ll stay within our budget this year, but barely. Last year we had a savings. This year, we’re going to use it all.”

Officials noted winter is unpredictable and a couple of weeks or even up to a month of no precipitation is possible, and could help keep budgets and sand piles from being depleted too rapidly.

Officials said a week or so of no precipitation and warm temperatures would do wonders for getting stubborn ice off roads.

But, other than a relatively warm and dry Saturday predicted for this weekend, that may not be in the cards.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for sun and a high of 18 degrees Saturday, and a high of 33 Sunday with a chance of snow and sleet mainly after 5 p.m. On Monday, rain and a high of 44 is forecast, with temperatures dropping back into the teens Tuesday and Wednesday.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647kedwards@centralmaine.com


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