Wayland Schools Digging In Deep With Snow Budget

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-28 19:00:39-05

WAYLAND, Mich. — As the snow keeps coming down, the Wayland School District says it is costing them big to keep up with mother nature.

Transportation Maintenance Director, Jeff Schilthroat said, “Right now they’re having a hard time finding places to put the snow. That’s why we have these big mountains of snow around here.”

The snow drifts are also adding up to mountains of cash for the school system.

“The business manager said that,  typically it’s anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 a year and we’ve already went to the $40,000 plateau and we’ll probably spend somewhere around $60,000 this year,” said Jeff Schilthroat, Transportation Maintenance Director.

WaylandSchoolsSnowThat’s an estimated $20,000 more than they planned.

One of the issues, it takes $3,000 a day for the contractors to clear every school lot in the district.

Schilthroat says it’s unclear whether it would be cheaper at this point to have school employees doing the work.

“Well, it’s hard to say,” said Schilthroat. “It depends on what kind of winter you’re going to have.”

The winter has been a tough one.

Schilthroat says before his time, employees did plow the lots, however, that was years ago and for this type of snow, there just isn’t enough staff.

“Well, there’s a lot of area to cover and to have your maintenance guys doing that, said Schilthroat, “And they’ve got to get some sleep sometime and you need a maintenance guy at the school. You can’t hardly work somebody 24 hours a day.”

Admittedly, they may have to get creative with the budget.

It’s something they’ll be looking at as this winter drags on.

“That’s a tough question, real tough,” said Schilthroat.

He says they’ve missed around eight days of school already this year.

The kids haven’t been here since last Thursday due to cold temperatures. He said if they didn’t plow during those snow days, they would save around $24,000.

He said they don’t issue snow days based on the snow budget.