Snow cleanup puts dent into Annapolis' budget

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - After a couple of mild winters, Maryland finally got a fair share of snow.

With all that big snow comes big money to remove it. Many cities and counties have gone over their snow removal budget.

Among those was Annapolis, which got some free help, but that still didn't help the bottom line.

Since the beginning of the year, nearly 2 feet of snow has fallen at BWI.  And as all that snow piles up, so does the cost of removing it. 

Howard County has spent almost $2.5 million on snow removal, and that's about twice as much as it normally spends. Anne Arundel County has spent nearly $4 million to push snow around. 

And in Annapolis, the story is the same.

“Last week’s storm we spent another $40,000, so I suspect we've about doubled what we had in the budget,” said David Jarrell, the Director of Public works for Annapolis, who added the city’s expenses in this area varies from year to year.

For Annapolis, the 28 miles of snow emergency routes is the priority in the city. The city usually uses 10 crews for snow removal.

“Last week we had 15 crews out of city workers around the clock and we also bought in 7 contractor vehicles just to assist,” Jarrell said.

When they get all that snow, it has to go somewhere. So they bring it to places like Truxtun Park.

“We stockpile it here and let Mother Nature take its course,” said Phil Cook, supervisor for public works in Annapolis.

Cook says these man-made icebergs can get as high as 20 or 30 feet and it could be months before it all melts into Back Creek.

“I've seen them here till almost may, but they'll melt down. Slowly but surely,” Cook said.

Annapolis gets some free help also.  This year a couple of dozen midshipmen came downtown to help shovel some show.

“They came by and shoveled some of the sidewalks on Prince George's street and downtown,” said Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides. So it's a great service they've been doing for years and we really appreciate.”

The mayor may need to get all the branches of the armed services to help in snow removal if he wants to make a dent in the snow budget.

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