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Mar 2, 2015 5:49 PM

Seacoast cities face big storm cleanup costs


SEACOAST - From Seabrook to Portsmouth, the towns and cities lining the NH coast have all surpassed their winter cleanup budgets.

Hampton appears to be facing the most significant challenge - as one of the most hard-hit towns in the state throughout the back-to-back winter storms.

"I think we spent over $400,000 in those private contractors, along with some other accounts - mainly vehicle maintenance," said Deputy DPW Director Chris Jacobs. "It all hasn't been tallied yet, but yeah - we went right through this year and next year's budget."

Seabrook has exceeded their budget for sand and private contractors already, and Dover says they're $140,000 over budget.

In Durham, DPW Director of Operations Doug Bullen tells NH1 News that they are about $20,000 over their budget. And it's concerning - because it's only early March.

"We're probably well over budget at this point - I would say we're probably 15% to 20% over," Bullen said. "Our operating budget for snow removal - a lot of that due to contracted services and materials in general, and then of course a lot of the overtime that the guys have been putting in."

The city of Portsmouth has also been hit hard - economically and physically - as their challenges have also included a limited amount of space to put removed snow from the downtown area and nearby neighborhoods.

DPW Director Peter Rice estimates they are 15% over budget, and may have to reallocacte funds.

His staff has been struggling to continue packing snow onto Peirce Island, where the city dumps snow.

"The snow removal budget for the fiscal year '15 was about $515,000," said City Manager John Bohenko. "And we've now spent about $715,000 - so we're a couple hundred thousand dollars over expended."

With more snow anticipated this week, crews say no matter the cost - they will find a way to get the job done.


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