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Wild winter was hard on La Grange budget

The winter's relentless snowfall took a toll on La Grange's budget, adding about $100,000 more than had been planned for overtime, salt and other costs.

"It's always challenging when you have as many snow events as we had this winter season," Public Works Director Ryan Gillingham said.

The department cleared the streets 56 times in a winter that dropped 82 inches of snow at O'Hare International Airport, making the season Chicago's third-snowiest on record.

Public Works Department workers logged 2,771 hours of overtime — many more than the five-year average of 1,451 hours, Gillingham said. Many of the hours were logged during late nights and early mornings, with drivers often working 12-hour shifts.

"The guys did an awesome job this year in keeping up with what turned out to be a historic winter season," he said.

The department was also busy repairing 80 water main breaks, which often result from the ground expanding and contracting around pipes as weather changes. The department repairs 27 of the breaks in the average year, Gillingham said.

The department's overtime costs reached about $110,000, or about $34,000 over the budgeted overtime amount of $76,000, he said. Other snow and ice removal costs, including buying extra salt and other chemicals and paying for outside contractors, reached about $65,000 over the budgeted amount of $100,000, he said.

The department used 2,800 tons of salt, up from the usual 1,900, he said.

The department's 2014-15 budget, which the Village Board passed earlier this month, designates $79,000 for overtime and $100,000 for snow and ice control.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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