HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Winter weather events, of course, come with a price tag. The City of Huntsville calculated its cost of last week’s three-day weather event at about $120,000.
This includes $88,000 in overtime pay for essential employees and about $32,000 in costs for materials such as salt, gravel, tire chains, gloves and equipment rental.
In addition, Huntsville Utilities reports it spent about $128,000 in overtime, replacement materials, and pole replacements to handle about 3,000 power outages.
“The Tennessee Valley is known for its mercurial weather, and we do budget for a series of weather events each year,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
“While a severe storm can wreck extreme damage that would be difficult to absorb in a general budget cycle, we were fortunate last week that the snow was short-lived and did not encounter significant icing. Besides the inconvenience, we managed the snow days extremely well.”
Mayor Battle praised his department heads, Huntsville police and fire, Public Works crews, EMA and HEMSI and all entities that helped citizens navigate through the snow event.“Many of our personnel barely slept for three days,” said Mayor Battle. “As a community, we owe these men and women our extreme gratitude.”
The mayor bestowed “reflectors of honor”, street reflectors damaged or removed by snow scrapers, to each department head as a thank you and keepsake from the weather event.
The City says there will also be additional costs ahead related to the snowfall, such as the price tag to replace street reflectors that were torn up when crews bladed the roadways. Municipal Court says it will take months to reschedule the lost court appointments, and all City offices will be working to catch up.