Wintry weather burying N.J. towns in bills

The bills for towns in New Jersey are piling up nearly as fast as the snow falls during this long winter of discontent.

The town of Little Silver in Monmouth County, for instance, has exceeded its budget for salt and other supplies to keep roads in shape, said Mayor Bob Neff.

The added expenses will fall on the town’s 6,000 residents, he said.

“It’s a real tough call. You try to buy as much as you’re going to need and to predict how much you’re going to need is awful tough, but certainly if you have to make additional purchases that comes out of taxpayers’ pockets, and nobody wants to pick the taxpayers’ pockets if you don’t need to do it,” Neff said Thursday during the latest storm oif the season.

“On the other hand, you need to keep those streets safe. So that’s the fine line you walk every winter,” he said.

There are similar concerns in Ocean County’s largest community — Toms River — where $750,000 had been budgeted for snow removal. The town already has spent $1.2 million.

“It almost never fails that the storms are on the weekend or at night, and our guys all get time and a half, which they’re entitled to,” said Mayor Tom Kelaher. “Plus as of before the storm I know we used up over two thousand tons of rocksalt. So it’s an expensive proposition.”

Kelaher said he is also concerned about what it will cost to fix a bumper crop of potholes caused by freezing, plowing, and salting.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal