City of Knoxville spent $536,000 on winter storm cleanup; cost to be absorbed


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The City of Knoxville says cleanup from the last two weeks of winter storms cost them over $536,000, but the cost is expected to not wreak any havoc on the city budget.

The city’s response started with a fairly routine winter storm pretreatment. Crews spent February 15 spreading 23 tons of brine on 470 miles of roadway.

The ice storm hit on February 16, followed by another ice storm and two major snowfalls.

Over a two week period, city workers plowed and re-plowed streets, spread 3,200 tons of salt and cleared sidewalks downtown, around schools and on Market Square.Previous story:City of Knoxville has spent over $300,000 on snow removal so far

The first round of winter weather was the costliest, exceeding $350,000 for the week of February 16. The biggest expense was $253,000 for 2,200 tons of rock salt. Overtime to city workers amounted to around $54,000.

More snow fell twice during the week of February 23, but it was easier to plow. Warmer temperatures and aggressive pretreatment helped melt more of it. City costs that week totaled over $180,000.

City officials say the budget always anticipates some costs incurred for “something out of the ordinary” like labor costs associated with bad weather or the need to replenish salt at higher prices. Because of the contingency reserve, February’s weather-related costs will be absorbed.

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