Between equipment expenditures, contracted services and employee overtime, the Three Village Central School District paid more than $60,000 to remove the snow and prepare the school grounds for students and staff to return following the February blizzard, according to a school official.
That amount breaks down as follows:
- $21,385 paid to the East Setauket-based company Troffa Landscaping for their services provided and equipment rented;
- $48,000 paid in overtime to 90 school maintenance and operations staff members working in shifts to complete snow removal.
Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services, said Troffa Landscaping was called in to help because they own and operate payloaders and other equipment that the school district does not have.
"We don’t really need [that equipment] because it’s not that often that we would use it," he said. "But in this case, because it was so much snow, we needed the bigger equipment."
Carlson said the school employees began digging the buildings out on Saturday; however, students missed school both Monday and Tuesday because the roads were still dangerous.
"By Tuesday we were pretty much done, but the reason we didn’t open school on Tuesday was the roads were so bad – not necessarily our parking lots and sidewalks," Carlson said.
Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich praised the work the school employees did in preparing the buildings and grounds for the students' return after the blizzard, and said the Board of Education plans to honor the crew at an upcoming board meeting.
"They did an aboslutely amazing job," she said. "It was a tireless effort on their part, and we are so incredibly proud and supportive of what they've done. We could not have opened school without them. ... They worked from the time the snow stopped until the opening of school."
The district budgeted $93,000 for snow removal during the 2012-2013 school year. Approximately $10,000 of that budget was used in November of 2012 to clean up after a relatively small snow storm. Thus, the TVCSD still has approximately $13,615 earmarked for snow removal during the 2012-2013 school year.
"We’re still under budget," Carlson said. "Hopefully that’s it."