Winter tolls

Winter ends and damage control begins

The end of a record-breaking winter causes reflection on just how much a season like this costs the Ferris campus.

As the 2015-16 winter comes to a close, Ferris physical plant workers and its corresponding clean-up team work to repair and replace the damages and clear the remaining snow from campus. Between salt costs and labor pay, post-winter damage removal can be a costly process.

“Costs of snow removal vary from year to year depending on the weather,” said Ferris physical plant accountant Jillian Bush. “This year it cost approximately $12,000 for salt used throughout the winter.”

Besides the cost of salt used throughout the season to prevent and melt snow, there is also the matter of paying those to do the work. Labor costs cover those who lay salt, plow and shovel the snow, and other miscellaneous tasks involved with snow removal.

“The overtime labor cost is approximately $27,000, and this does not include regular time or student labor,” said Bush. “We have 12 full-time employees in the grounds department and also employ 12 to 14 students throughout the academic year.”

The work involved in this process consists of preparing for the snow, continuously laying salt throughout the season, removing the snow, and repairing the damages post-season. This process is directed by Ferris grounds supervisor Tim Wirth.

Once winter is over, there is also the matter of repairing the damages done by this process, such as replacing or fixing landscaping and machinery. According to Bush, post-winter costs are estimated to be around $10,000, and equipment repair will be between $5,000 and $7,000.