Ada County Highway District has already spent more money on snow removal this season than the agency's budget anticipated for the entire winter, spokeswoman Nicole DuBois said Wednesday.
In fact, snow removal costs have almost reached last year's total of almost $2 million, DuBois said, and it's barely January.
With a massive snow storm settling into the Treasure Valley, highway district leaders allocated an additional $500,000 expenditure on de-icing chemicals and salt, DuBois said. That money comes from the district’s general fund.
Meanwhile, the district's 37 plows, 14 anti-icing units and other snow removal machines are on the roads around the clock.
The snow storm is expected to end late Wednesday night. The district hopes to complete finish plowing on arterials, collectors and other major roads, as well as major intersections, overpasses, bridges, streets with grades of 6 percent or greater and streets near hospitals, fire stations and schools.
[What kind of road do I live on? See a map here.]
After that, plows will move to priority school bus routes, an effort the district hopes to finish by Friday afternoon. That could include some residential streets.
Next, the district will plow priority routes, which it defines as streets that connect to small residential roads.
Can I hire someone to plow my side street?
Ada County Highway District allows private individuals and groups — businesses, homeowner’s associations, neighborhood associations, etc. — to hire private contractors to remove snow from their roads.
They must file a Temporary Use Permit Application to get authorization to do private snow removal “so that we have recourse should the infrastructure (streets, gutters, etc.) be damaged,” highway district spokeswoman Nicole DuBois said in an email.
ACHD is waiving its usual permit fees for plowing during this storm. Under normal circumstances, fees range from $25 per day for small residential streets to $75 for arterials.
The contractor must fill out an application and provide proof of liability insurance for the operator and vehicle. Anyone who’s interested can call the highway district at (208) 387-6280.