This past weekend's dud of a snow storm – predictions ranged from six inches to more than a foot by Sunday night – in which Belmont received a mere inch of sloppy, heavy precipitation was good news for both the town's Department of Public Works and the town's bottom line.
So far this year, Belmont has spent approximately $480,000 on snow removal, according to Belmont Town Administrator David Kale.
That amount will likely continue to rise as the town receives invoices from private contractors who worked on town streets and sidewalks, Kale said.
Even after two plowable storms in the past two weekends, surprisingly, Belmont is within its fiscal 2013 budget for snow removal by $113,000 as the annual Town Meeting in April budgeted $553,274 for snow removal, said Kale.
But that account can easily slip into the red if a blizzard or just a couple of days of moderate snow fall which would require the plows and sanders are sent out.
Just how much the next storm will hit the town's coffers is "impossible to answer," said Kale as "there are no standard storms. Cost is dependent on timing, duration and type of precipitation," he said.
And even if the next storm happens this week and the removal budget amount becomes a negative number, Belmont residents should not fear that they are living in a town where streets and sidewalks will be left unplowed since the town has no more money.
"The town typically has funded snow and ice deficits from the reserve fund contained in the General Fund," said Kale. In addition, the state has its own reserve fund to help cash-strapped municipalities.