As snow piles up, so does the price to remove it

MADEIRA, OH (FOX19) - The Tri-State is seeing a lot more snowfall this year than last.

We're barely halfway into January, and already Cincinnati has seen more than 19 inches of snow this winter.

Compare that to eight inches this time last year and 25 total for all of last winter. As the snow piles up, so does the cost to remove it.

"We plowed more in December this year than we do in whole winters," explains Duane Clemons.

Four men are responsible for cleaning the roads in Madeira -- 47 lane miles that takes nearly four hours to salt, and seven hours to plow.

"This year we're out plowing about every other day it seems like," says Clemons.

Duane Clemons says they're even down a couple guys so it's making their job even tougher.

"Pretty much everybody has to come in work until you can't take it anymore, take a couple hours off and then get back at it," adds Clemons.

And when it comes to all this work, cities must be prepared financially.

Clemons says guys on his team are approaching 40 hours of overtime already this season where two years ago they clocked only 11 hours of OT all winter. That, along with about a thousand tons of salt is what goes into planning for their budget.

"I've been here 23-years and I think maybe twice in that time we've went over the amount of salt we had budgeted for that year and those were extremely severe winters," says Clemons.

Madeira's not alone. in Fort Thomas, the assistant city manager says if this weather trend continues, they'll be close to going over their budget.

So if we get more snow and your city happens to run out of salt, that could be bad news. Clemons says it's first-come first-serve when it comes to getting more because often times the city's normal provider doesn't have enough to go around.

"Everybody calls up and says 'my God we need salt' and the truck drivers tell us all the time that we don't know how quick we'll be back because there's a huge line at the salt pile," explains Clemons.

For Clemons and his team, regardless of how bad it gets, they're confident they have enough to keep the streets clean all winter.

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