Snow cleanup cost $100,000+

Snow cleanup cost $100,000+ »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Last week's snow storm left left more than just a mess. Roadside accidents and traffics delays were by the dozen. Snow plows around the Tri-Cities worked to keep up with the storm. But it came at a cost to taxpayers.

Crews worked 24/7 for five straight days trying to stay ahead of the storm. Pasco spent the most, coming in at $56,000. Kennewick and Richland both spent $34,000. These numbers do include labor. Kennewick is taking steps to slice into that in the future.

"We watch the weather very closely so we aren't putting crews on overtime and applying material we don't need," said Martin Nelson.

They're also switching over to only using salt instead of sand.

"Putting more and more sand down there and not having a significant effect on the traction, but by putting the salt there the roads will melt," said Nelson.

Kennewick appropriated $120,000 for this year and last year. A mild winter a year ago left more money to handle storms this year. But even that, didn't please everyone.

"Normally every year they take care of it. This year it was a little uneasy. My wife's eight months pregnant, so I'm thinking of her safety as well,"
said Jeff Woodworth.

Although the city of Kennewick does clear residential streets, other priorities come first.

"Our goal is to get to be able to get emergency responders across the city: police, fire and ambulance. That's the most important thing. You're going to have to wait until we can get through the higher priority places to get to residential areas," said Nelson.

Kennewick says they also plan to convert the snow trucks so they can be used year round.