Less than a week after an investigation into the cost of winter weather, the dollar signs continue to pile up. The cost to repair reflectors alone is more than half the cost of cleaning up the snow in the first place.
Some of the information originally given is incorrect. Last week, officials said that hundreds of reflectors were scraped off of the roads because of the street graders or "scrapers" used. Monday, it was learned that figure is in the tens of thousands.
The graders are meant to level gravel, but in a town not used to heavy snow, they are often used to remove snow. In the process, they remove small reflectors that line the roads.
Mayor Tommy Battle originally said they cost "five dollars apiece, plus the cost of labor of putting them back." However on Monday, Traffic Operations manager Karen Brown said the actual cost is closer to one dollar – again, plus the cost of labor to repair them.
Brown said the total number of reflectors that need to be replaced is about 30,000. Combined with about 50 larger reflectors at a cost of $25 apiece, and the cost of labor and materials, Brown said it will cost Huntsville about $80,000 for reflector repairs. About two months' time will be required to repair them all.
In last week's report, it was determined that a plow attachment for a pick-up, equipment that doesn't rip up reflectors, cost less than $2,000. With the $80,000 in repair costs, the city could have bought about 50 plow attachments.
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