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2010 was most expensive year ever for Kandiyohi County snow removal

Kandiyohi County spent $687,375 to remove snow and ice last year. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

Just in case you needed a reminder of how bad this winter has been, a report shows 2010 was the most expensive year ever for snow removal in Kandiyohi County and the beginning of this year doesn't look any better.

The cost to remove snow and ice last year was a massive $687,375.

Snow removal for December was $248,034.

That's more than the total snow removal cost for at least six of the past 20 years.

"We really got nailed," Kandiyohi County Public Works Director Gary Da-nielson said, recalling that nearly every storm in December landed on a holiday or weekend, which increased personnel costs to the county.

"The news is not good by any means."

Danielson told the County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that 2010 was "very expensive" and that 2011 "seems to be tracking pretty much like 2010."

The total figures for January haven't been processed yet, but Danielson predicted it would be similar to last February's cost of about $190,000.

The only hope is that there will be an early spring again this year. Last March the snow removal cost was about $6,000.

In 1990 the county spent a low of $98,998 on snow removal for the year. In 2009, the county spent $560,044 on snow removal. The average annual cost has been about $350,000 during the last two decades.

Costs peaked in 1997 when the county spent $606,799. If adjusted for inflation, 1997 would have been more expensive than 2010, but Danielson said the county was part of a federal disaster declaration and the high costs were offset by federal disaster funds.

Spending more on snow removal means the county will spend less on summertime road maintenance programs to keep the total expenses in line with the overall budget, Danielson said.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750