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More snow, rain, freezing in South County puts drain on public services

February 8, 2011

Photo by Brett Warnke As of last Friday, South Kingstown public service department had used up 76 percent of the budget for snow removal with 24 percent remaining for the rest of winter. Narragansett faces similar circumstances as the snow piles up.

With what it seems to be a snow storm every Tuesday and Wednesday this winter, the town is plowing through its snow removal budget as it also tries to clear storm drains.

Jon Shock, director of public services for South Kingstown said as of last Friday, the department has used up 76 percent of the budget for snow removal with 24 percent remaining for the rest of winter.
Shock said so far they have spent $230,000 for labor, sand and salt, with $54,000 remaining. This amount does not include work on the sidewalks and the work done last Saturday, Jan. 29 to recover from the Friday storm and this week’s ice and rain storm on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This is unusual. We usually don’t have one come after another,” Schock said.

For this week’s rain and ice storm, the public works department got to work again with sanding and salting the roads.

“We started sanding in the morning. We put sand and salt down before the freeze took place,” Schock said. “We were most concerned about the freezing cold weather coming in late.”

With most communities in the state requesting more sand and salt from the state vendor providing it, Schock said it has been difficult to get more sand and salt, but that the town will likely see another shipment in the next day or so.

“Because it was a transitional storm, it was one of the more difficult ones,” Schock said.

For Wednesday, Schock said the public works focused on opening the storm drains to clear the roads of localized flooding from the rain and pond waters.

Route 1, Cedar Hollow Road, Route 138 and Pond Street were some South Kingstown areas hit by street flooding.

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