MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA (CBS) — With all of the snow we’ve had this winter, it’s no surprise that some towns are going over their budgets. So Manchester-by-the-Sea is hoping its new approach to snow removal will help with the budget.

Town Administrator Wayne Melville says the town will focus on plowing and snow removal during daylight hours. That way, he explains, they will have to hire fewer contractors and keep crews on overtime.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports.

Melville told WBZ the town had budgeted $97,000 for snow removal for this season. During the Christmas blizzard Manchester-by-the-Sea spent $70,000; during the second storm it spent $125,000. That puts the town nearly $100,000 over budget.

Melville explains the town will still clean downtime on overtime and during the evenings, but he said the town is hoping it won’t need to hire the additional private contractors it typically does.

He recognizes this approach will take longer, and people will see “a lot of snow banks at intersections.” But he added the intersections will be passable.

Complains are part of the job, Melville told WBZ. Adding that when they worked “loud plows” through the night they would receive complaints.

Comments (21)
  1. Ed Dracut says:

    Heres a novel idea. How about taking 1/2 of your plow crew and tell them that they are going to work nights durring this storm. And that on the next storm those who worked the day shift will work the night shift and rotate this for the winter. That way there will allways be plows out plowing. I have worked for many companies in the past who do things like this to save money and have coverage. But that was in the dreaded private sector not the public sector with all there unions. Too bad because it would work..

    1. Dave says:

      “They’re” unions, not “there”.

      1. alleydweller says:

        Their – not they’re or there.

  2. blackbear1 says:

    Snow storms do not arrive at convenient times. Snow removal/public safety must be managed and managed well by the town leadership. Avoiding unnecessary ot and paying for it when needed. Find the $$, as it must be done. Saying you are only going to plow during daytime hrs. does not sound like good management. As far as complaints about “loud plows”; PLEASE!! Come on man!!

  3. Jfred says:

    Median home price in 2009 $732,000. That’s one heck of a tax base.

  4. P Needham says:

    what about those that drive at night? My mom and I got in an accident years ago because we were driving home from the hospital and we hit a road that wasn’t plowed. Not a wise choice to risk public safety to save money.

  5. john says:

    What happens when a resident has a heart attack? When seconds count its good to know the town doesn’t care how quickly medical help get to you.

  6. Peg says:

    What happens if there’s a fire or a crime committed by someone in a four-wheeler? You going to tell the victims to wait until sunrise? You are opening yourselves up for a huge lawsuit.

    A better option would be to have just one or two plows working the night shift to at least keep the roads clean in case of emergency.

  7. 1stackmack says:

    in order to plow without puplic being in the freeking way.i plow and sand parking lots in the woburn area,al industreas[no spell check on this sorry]in order to properly clean up snow is at night with nothing in the sorry if the 9-5 ers are disrupted but get a clue..

  8. 1stackmack says:

    i remember my grandfather telling me that they use to roll the snow flat and smooth then sanding for traction.but with today tecnoligy,ie salt,snow melters.even just modern 3/4 ton pick ups can very easily move snow out of the way if its powder.during the day snow gets packed down and is very difficult to move, look at nyc in the first to those of you complaining about plows at night or backup alarms on all equipment.tuff.

  9. Jay Marblehead says:


    Your right, have the workers split shifts. I bet the union does not like it, but what about doing the right thing. Maybe we should pay them more, cut those great bennies and ask them to work like the rest of us.

  10. 1stackmack says:

    i’m also still amased that towns still budget snow removal…

  11. joe says:

    LOL! This is a typical public sector union run approach for trying to save money. First of all, he is lying out his #$$. If there is a 24 hour blizzard they will have, at the very least, town trucks out plowing 24/7. Think of the lawsuits after people die because emergency services are stuck at the end of the street.

    I think he is referring to actual removal of snow from the center of town, school parking lots, T parking lots, other town property etc. Snow plowing and snow removal are two different animals. Plowing is done during and shortly thereafter the storm and removal is completed on the following days but MOSTLY nights. I know because I own a construction co in the dreaded private sector end of the plowing/removal business.

    Second and most comical, is the reason they do SNOW REMOVAL at night is because YOU CAN’T MOVE SNOW FROM THE CENTER OF TOWN OR PARKING LOTS DURING THE DAY WHEN THERE ARE CARS PARKED IN THE AREAS YOUR TRYING TO PERFORM REMOVAL!!! HELLO!! Imagine trying to remove snow from your office building during the day?

    Third, have you ever seen a town’s overnight snow removal operation? Well, it’s actually quite ‘amazingly’ organized and efficient. However, it is organized chaos with front end loaders, backhoes, bobcats and trucks EVERYWHERE. During the day, it would cause the worst traffic jam you have ever seen! Not to mention the idiot drivers that would get run over by a loader because they have ZERO common sense and aren’t paying attention.

    Bottom line, it sounds like this “genius plan” is the idea of the town manager who has never plowed snow before.

    PS. Private contractors pay their drivers more money to plow snow because of the “long and any time of day” hours. However, they never get overtime. God love the unions!!!!

  12. S says:

    I know money is limited. But how about budgeting the appropriate amounts in the first place? They only budgeted $97,000 and a single storm used up the majority ($70,000) of that budget. And a second storm cost more than the entire budget that was originally set aside. Obviously $97,000 wasn’t a reasonable budget in the first place. This is New England people. We get snow!!!!! How about we make sure that we budget a reasonable amount in the first place so that we’re not complaining that we’re “going over the budget” when the conditions that we all know are going to happen actually occur? A budget is supposed to try to reflect realistic numbers – not just pull random numbers out of thin air to “look pretty”.

  13. Brad says:

    Who budgets only $97K for snow removal?

  14. blackbear1 says:

    Snow removal is something you MUST do for public safety. There is no alternative. There is no union issue unless there is an issue of poor or weak leadership. Those who blame public unions in a knee jerk manner are just spinning your wheels. Perhaps the dreaded private sector (who also has unions) needs to look at itself and become more accountable, as you don’t show me much. Many citizens are uninformed or are unaware of how the city or town runs and have unfair expectations. Good post Joe.

  15. Mike B says:

    LOUD PLOWS??? Heck, when I hear the “loud plow” come by at night, it doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I’m reassured that my street is plowed as called for. We all know there isn’t much glory in plowing, but those guys are out there working when I’m sure they’d much rather be at home in bed. Plowing at night ensures the roads are clear for when people have to go to work. In addition, there’s less vehicles on the road at night, making it easier to plow. Daytime plowing, next thing people will complain about behing stuck behind a plow doing 5mph when they want to drive 35mph to get to work.

  16. Joe Kane says:

    Just goes to show what Morons are running the show in Manchester! Who helped them with their homework on this one? The 1st Grade Class? Give me a break!!

  17. jack says:

    Just looking for MORE TAX money. Don’t let them fool you…………..

  18. beachpoet says:

    Manchester plows all of its private roads – yes, the ones that are miles long and lead to multimillion dollar estates, for free. That’s about 50% of the roads in town. How about letting the very wealthy contract and pay for their own plowing? That should free up quite a bit of money for the public sector.

  19. emom says:

    plow that road man I need to get to work in the morning , the kids need to go to school and heck IT’S YOUR JOB ,, THE NEIGHBORS CAN USE EAR PLUGS,,, STUPID PEOPLE BEING STUPID

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