ROCKVILLE-The snow of this year’s record breaking winter may be melted but it remains a hot topic in the city of Rockville.
This winter is the third-snowiest on record with 24 separate snowfalls, 5,737 tons of salt used and a total cost of $654, 207 to Rockville, the highest since 2010’s “snowmaggeddon”, which dropped almost four feet of snow on the D.C. region.
This year Rockville city spent double its allotted snow budget of $325,550. During snowmaggeddon, the city spent more than $1.1 million.
Director of Public Works Craig Simoneau requested $12,000 for two additional salt spreaders, $7,600 for two snow push box attachments and $40,000 to expand Rockville’s salt barn.
Rockville is responsible for plowing the city’s 327 primary and secondary streets. Though the city received some praise for snow removal efforts, many residents expressed anger that some streets were plowed quickly and repeatedly while other streets were not plowed until later.
There were also discussions about state roads and county roads. Simoneau said the city does not usually clear Veirs Mill Road Bridge, a state road attached to city roads, but did so this winter. He said the city will coordinate with the state in future storms.
“There’s something called losing your primaries. It’s something that if you do it becomes a critical error,” Simoneau said. “If you let your primaries go so badly that you’re snowed over and the truck can’t get you out, you have just deserted your city and made them un-rescuable. Under no condition will we let those primaries get so snowed over that we can’t get there.”
Councilmember Tom Moore praised Simoneau and his team for their work during the winter.
“People inside this city are so happy with their snow removal that people outside of the city are deadly jealous and people who are right outside the city are deadly jealous because they can see just outside their houses the service that the public works department provides here,” Moore said. “It is something that a lot of heart and work is put into.”