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Active Winter Taxing On The Towns

So far this winter we have had 77.9 inches of snow, which is about 21 inches more than last year.
So far this winter we have had 77.9 inches of snow, which is about 21 inches more than last year. 

But what has also taken a toll on local governments is the cold. The cold has brought ice and the need for tons upon tons of salt. It is a ballet of sorts as plows dance through the snow and ice in Henrietta.

"It's been long and ardous," Henrietta Public Works Commissioner Craig Eckert said.

The town has more than 450 lane miles to cover. It includes town, county and state roads. 

"There is a very large quantity of trained staff that are on call at a moment's notice," he said. 

It costs $350,000 to $500,000 to clear just the county and state roads during a normal season. Tack on the town roads and you have a recipe for increased costs.

"We are certainly probably way above average as far as the budget goes. I leave that to the [Town] Supervisor," Eckert said. 

From November to February of last season there were six full plow runs. This year it is more than double at 15. This season's colder than normal temperatures means more ice and in turn means using more salt. About 5,700 tons of salt was used for last year's entire season. Through February, crews have already laid down 8,200 tons of salt. Henrietta's supplier, American Rock Salt, is working to keep up with demand.

"So far we are doing great. We are getting what we need. If the snow and ice gets different then we will have to hope they can step up delivery schedule," he said. 

The one thing to remember- the season runs until April. 

"It depends on the type of year and what we are getting; more cold, less snow, more frigid. Everything changes. That is Rochester," he said.
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