Snow removal is a complex task which we complete according to pre-established guidelines to optimize funds allocated for the season budget. Our budget is established taking a five year average and increasing it by 5% – a somewhat arbitrary calculation but generally has worked well. Any excess funds at the end of the season are placed into separate account as a “slush” fund to be used in future seasons if I go over budget.
We do not enter into a fixed price seasonal contract as we have lost out in this arrangement in the past. We do enter into a contract with a selected vendor which spells out the hourly rate for use of labor and equipment. Records are maintained for each snow event which includes total number of workers, equipment used, total hours and cost.
Work is completed on a “triage” basis with safety of residents being the paramount concern. Obvious areas such as front entryways and rear exits must be kept clear – the roadways must be sufficiently plowed to provide access for emergency vehicles and fire hydrants have to be accessible. We work off a detailed list of tasks broken down in terms of priority.
Planning for every snow event is different and involves an assessment of a number of key predictions including:
- Start time of the storm
- Predicted time the storm will end
- Predicted temperatures during a storm and the following days thereafter
- The anticipated accumulation amounts of snow, freezing rain, or rain
- Anticipated rate of accumulation
- Prediction of weather in the days following the storm
Our snow removal plan will vary for each storm depending upon the evaluation of these predictions.