def #29 02/17/10
OCEAN COUNTY AIMS TO CLEAR ROADS QUICKLY;
PROCESS IS COSTLY
TOMS RIVER – A series of snowstorms that began Dec. 19, 2009 and have continued throughout most of the winter has
cost Ocean County about $1.8 million in road cleanup costs.
“We have a lot of road mileage to maintain and clear,” said Freeholder Director James F. Lacey, who serves as
liaison to the county Road Department. “People want it done right away and we do the best we can.”
Lacey was referring to the coordinated efforts of a number of Ocean County government departments that work to clear more
than 1,500 lane miles of county roads and areas around more than 100 county facilities.
“These crews did a great job,” he said, referring to workers in the county’s Road Department, Department of Solid Waste
Management, Department of Buildings and Grounds, Parks and Recreation, and Vehicle Services.
The road cleanup costs for all the winter storms included $1,354,609 in salt costs, and $413,142 in overtime costs for the
county Road Department.
“The roads have to be cleared and opened quickly,” said Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “These
roads need to be cleared so emergency responders including police, fire and emergency medical technicians, can answer calls
and get to residents that need help.”
Almost 20,000 tons of salt have been used on the county’s roads, about 14,000 gallons of calcium and more than 60,000
gallons of brine have been used to clear and maintain the 621 miles of roads maintained by Ocean County.
Individual storm costs are $485,454 for the December storm; $499,142 for the Feb. 5 thru 7 storm and $518,252 for
the Feb. 9 thru 11 storm. The totals include overtime costs for the road department and salt, calcium and brine costs.
An additional $50,000 in total costs was incurred by the Buildings and Grounds department for removing snow from county
“Ocean County government does not close during storms,” said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to
Buildings and Grounds. “Workers are out there shoveling walks, plowing parking lots, and salting where necessary to make
certain our facilities are open and the public and workers can safely access them.”
Lacey noted that for the December storm the county and its municipalities are eligible for some federal reimbursements
because of the President’s disaster declaration.
He added the he recently sent a letter to Gov. Chris Christie requesting Ocean County be included in the Governor’s
emergency declaration for the first snowstorm in February with the hopes of recouping some of the cleanup costs for that
“It’s imperative that Ocean County be included in that declaration with the other southern counties,” Lacey said.