By: Rebecca Klopf
ROCKFORD (WREX) – Too much snow does not just mean problems for drivers, it could mean a big bill for the city of Rockford when it already has money troubles. To stop that from happening, the city plans to wait as long as safely possible before it calls in outside help. Rockford has contractors who can come in to help clear roads, but they come at a cost, charging almost 3 times as much as a city employed plow driver.
"We're trying to have a balance between safety and cost, and in this regard if we have to call out the contractors it's very expensive to do so," says Tim Hanson, Rockford Public Works Director.
Rockford signed a contract with Rabine Paving to do any extra snow plow work. If the company is called the drivers charge $79 an hour and are guaranteed to work at least for 8 hours costing the city a minimum of $150-thousand.
"Some cases on the bigger storms it could go up as high as $250-300 thousand so when you have a budget left right now of about $350 thousand this could wipe out my budget for the rest of the year," say Hanson.
With the storm starting Saturday, Hanson says that gives Rockford some extra time since there is no school and fewer people work on Sunday.
"We have to be very careful right now because its dire straights for the budget and we just have to make sure we pinch our pennies," says Hanson.
If Rockford declares a snow emergency for this storm remember the odd/even parking rules. You have to move your car to the even side of the street on Sunday by 8 a.m.