Franklin hopes for a dry end to the winter season

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:00

    Snowy winter taps out budget for road clearance, By Mark J. Yablonsky FRANKLIN — With a break in winter’s snowy blasts, Franklin breathed a sigh of relief. That’s because the borough had, as of last week, already exceeded last year’s spending on road salts and related expenses. At the recent council meeting borough administrator Richard R. Wolak announced that Franklin has spent $67,000 on winter-related public safety materials so far. But the winter and fall of 2009 are far from over. That does not mean that the town will blow off its public safety priorities. But it will be forced to take a little extra from other budgeted funds to cover the rest of this winter season. Last year, the borough spent a total of $65,000 for the same thing. “It’s just that we have used an extraordinary amount of salt to treat the roads,” said Wolak. “Our concern is because of these expenditures, we are going to have to allocate additional monies from this year’s budget, which in the past has been allocated for repairs or capital expenditures. Since public safety is our primary responsibility, by maintaining safe roadways, we feel it’s our obligation to cut back on other expenditures.” Cooperative buying Franklin, along with other local towns, buys its salt through a cooperative purchasing group in Morris County, which tends to allow the borough to keep its costs “at a minimum,” Wolak said. But excessive snow and ice in January alone have kept borough DPW workers very busy. In turn, the borough has been forced to pay needed and mandated overtime to those workers. “Ice storms are the worst because you have to go out with multiple applications,” Wolak explained. “Snow storms are easier because you only have to clear the snow and put the material down. The only saving grace is that in the recent past, we have incorporated the use of a chemical-free agent to extend the effectiveness of the salt, which allows us to use less materials. (Overtime) is inevitable, but it seems to always happen on weekends or holidays. My ideal time for a storm is Monday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but it doesn’t happen that way.”