Blizzard Cleanup Costs Total Over $725,000 In Ocean County

Photo courtesy Donna Flynn.

TOMS RIVER – As we are recovering from the recent snow storm that blanketed the area in nearly two feet of snow on Jan. 4, the County has put together the preliminary cost estimates for the cleanup of the blizzard.

As of Jan. 10, Ocean County officials calculated the cost of salting, plowing, and various cleanup projects to be an estimated $725,000, according to Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little.

“Our departments were staged and ready to go at midnight,” Little in a press release. “This was a storm that dropped almost 19 inches of snow on some areas of the county. The snow combined with high winds and frigid temperatures made it difficult to cleanup. But our road crews and county staff got the job done.”

Ocean County has nearly 630 miles of roads and this is where most of the cleanup expenses stem from. Little noted that $675,000, a large portion of the total cost, was used by the Road Department in cleanup efforts; using over $337,000 for materials, $191,000 for overtime and $35,000 for subcontractors.

Downtown Toms River (Photo by Donna Flynn)

The storm also required a whopping 3,700 tons of salt as well as 4,150 gallons of liquid calcium.

“It is essential that our parking lots and sidewalks are cleared so our employees can get to work and the public can access our services and programs,” in any of the 135 government buildings in the county, said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari in the release.

The Buildings and Grounds Department had 37 employees involved in cleanup, using 768 bags of salt. After putting in nearly 600 hours combined, the materials and overtime ended up totaling $18,500 for this department.

Little noted some additional storm cleanup expenses, including $7,000 for assistance from the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management, about $12,000 for the Bridge Department, and about $3,000 in overtime for the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Overall, numerous county departments played a part in the cleanup effort, including the Ocean County Department of Vehicle Services, the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management, the Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department, the Bridge Department, and the Buildings and Grounds Department, Department of Vehicle Services.