Snow Storms Cost Township $310,000 And 30 Mailboxes

Broken mailboxes1

The township has had to replace about 30 mailboxes damaged by snow plows this season.

This year’s rash of heavy snow storms has forced the township to so far spend about 2.5 times the average in snow removal costs.

This year’s cost is about $310,000, said township manager Bob Vornlocker. The yearly average, he said, is about $125,000.

The extra money will come from the township’s snow trust fund, into which unused snow removal money is moved each year, he said.

“We are increasing our budgeted amount for snow removal by $300,000,” he said. “We have used $300,000 of the trust balance so far this year. That leaves us with a balance of $418,000 in the snow trust.”

The extra cost was in part due to the extra amount of salt and sand needed to prepare the township’s roads, he said.

“This winter about 5,600 tons of salt and 700 tons of sand were used,” he said. “We normally do not use sand, only straight salt.
We average about 2,400 tons of salt annually.”

The township has also had to replace about 30 private mailboxes damaged by plows when they were clearing streets, Vornlocker said.

“We do not reimburse homeowners for the cost of theirs, we replace them with a generic mailbox on wooden post” he said. “They are replaced by public works employees after getting a request from the homeowner.”

“If the homeowner wants a decorative replacement they must file a claim with our insurance carrier,” Vornlocker said.

Tree limbs that were downed and covered by snow are now visible, thanks to the melt. Vornlocker said that the township will clean up any public areas, but private property owners are responsible for theirs.

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