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Snowy winter proves expensive

City Hall through mid-May had spent just more than $1 million on snowplowing in 2008, the largest sum since at least 2002, according to a report submitted to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council.

The figure was up almost 39 percent from the year before, and it is one of the most telling pieces of evidence of the severity of the winter. The next-highest sum since 2002 was in 2006, when $934,913 was spent.

The report indicates 2003 was the least expensive winter, when $377,249 was needed. In 2002, when about half of the events of the Winter Olympics were held in the Park City area, with two sporting venues inside the city, $415,000 was spent.

"Snow removal costs fluctuate based on the type of winter and total snow amounts received," says a report from Pace Erickson, who manages the Public Works Department operations, calling the 2007-2008 winter "extreme."

He says the patterns of snowstorms influence how much it costs to plow the snow, explaining that lingering storms are more difficult to handle for snowplows than ones that leave quickly.

Park City endured a string of midwinter storms that pummeled the area last winter, which many longtime Parkites say was one of the worst since the 1970s.

The report says just more than 100,000 cubic-yards of snow were hauled out of Park City in the winter. Much of the hauled snow was brought out of Old Town, where narrow streets and small yards provide little space to store snow.

Jay Hamburger


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