Snow plowing is among the most important services a city or town can provide in the winter - but it’s more of a priority in some places than others.
In a review of snowplow/snow removal expenditures per community, differences in how much a town is willing to pay for the service quickly emerge.
Among the 10 largest communities in Central and Western Massachusetts, it’s hard to beat Worcester. The city spent $8,530 per mile of city roadway on plowing services in 2019.
The biggest city spending the least amount of money per mile to plow its streets is Chicopee - which spent $2,635 per mile in 2019.
Here’s what the largest communities paid to remove snow in 2019, according to the most recent data from the Massachusetts Division of Local Services.
To see what’s happening in your town, keep scrolling.
TOP 10 LARGEST CITIES
It’s hard to beat Worcester on snow-removal spending, but Pittsfield in Berkshire County is the only one in Central and Western Massachusetts that does. The Berkshires’ get more snow than other parts of the state and has fewer available workers - a situation that jacks up the cost of street plowing. Pittsfield spent $10,442 per mile on snow plowing in 2019.
Here’s what other cities spent:
- Worcester - $8,530 spent per mile on snow removal, total spent was about $4.6 million in 2019
- Leominster - $7,397 per mile, $1.4 million total spent on snow removal
- Milford - $6,509 per mile, $805,000 total spent
- Shrewsbury - $6,234 per mile, $1.2 million total
- Westfield - $5,323 per mile, $1.3 million total
- Fitchburg - $4,692 per mile, $950,000 total
- Holyoke - $3,426 per mile, $606,500 total
- Springfield - $3,140 per mile, $1.6 million total
- Amherst - $2,864 per mile, $395,410 total
- Chicopee - $2,635 per mile, $692,000 total
Among the factors that determine how much a community spends on snow removal is the cost of materials such as sand and salt, snow plow/vehicle maintenance, wages, and past budget appropriations.
It is not uncommon for a community to earmark less than what is needed for snow removal, then pass added spending measures as needed. Doing things this way makes sure that money doesn’t get tied up in snow removal services - when it could be spent on police, schools, etc. - during a light winter. In many cases, removing money from a department in the middle of a budget cycle is much harder than passing a supplemental appropriation.
Here’s what your community spent to remove snow in 2019 going from most to least money per mile spent. The data includes the per mile as well as total expenditure.
- Westfield $5,323 per mile - $1,330,693 total spent
- West Springfield $4,799 per mile - $699,950 total
- Southwick $4,647 per mile - $418,474 total
- E. Longmeadow $3,506 per mile -$353,385 total
- Holyoke $3,426 per mile - $606,564 total
- Palmer $3,385 per mile - $399,576 total
- Springfield $3,140 per mile - $1,591,250 total
- Longmeadow $3,057 per mile - $304,923 total
- Agawam $2,979 per mile - $456,000 total
- Chicopee $2,635 per mile - $691,998 total
- Wales $2,326 per mile - $66,195 total
- Wilbraham $2,276 per mile - $259,000 total
- Granville $2,262 per mile - $165,162 total
- Tolland $2,262 per mile - $93,605 total
- Holland $2,210 per mile - $84,738 total
- Monson $1,817 per mile - $200,000 total
- Hampden $1,817 per mile - $100,000 total
- Ludlow $1,749 per mile - $240,000 total
- Blandford $1,357 per mile - $120,737 total
- Montgomery $1,348 per mile - $42,000 total
- Russell $1,115 per mile - $40,000 total
- Chester $1,046 per mile - $71,224 total
- Brimfield $937 per mile - $74,101 total.
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