Lewiston says budget cut could could mean slow plows

Posted Nov. 17, 2010, at 6:48 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — A Lewiston official says pending budget cuts could mean it will take longer to clear the Maine city’s streets this winter after heavy snowstorms.

City highway Operations Manager John Elie says plows won’t be delayed for storms with average snowfalls.

But delays after larger storms could be as much as 12 hours.

The city plows 394 lane miles of road each storm, with an average of 13 plowable snowstorms per winter and 37 storms requiring sanding and de-icing.

The Sun Journal newspaper says last year the city plowed 22 routes — 17 with city employees and five with private contractors.

Councilors voted to cut $70,000 from the Public Works budget this spring that had been set aside to pay private contractors to plow five routes during each storm.

The five private contractor routes have been absorbed into the city routes, adding an average of 6 miles to 10 in-town routes. As a result, those routes will take longer, between 90 minutes to three hours each time the city plows them.

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