Clearing the 30 inches of snow that last weekend’s storm dumped on Harrisburg is expected to cost the city about $500,000, officials said today, just hours after ending the declared snow emergency and opening emergency routes like 2nd and 7th streets once again to parked cars.
The costs include city laborers working overtime shifts as well as special contractors the city hired to work 24 hours a day, transporting piles of snow from the streets to a collection site on City Island.
Trash service will continue to be suspended through the end of the week, with sanitation workers diverted to the snow-clearing efforts, said public works director Aaron Johnson. The city is asking residents to dig out a path so that workers can access their trash and recycling bins once service resumes next Monday, Feb. 1.
Johnson also reassured residents that they would be allowed to dispose of more than a single toter’s worth of garbage, the usual limit under city policy, given the week of missed pickups. “We’ll take everything you put out there,” he said.
Officials said they were optimistic that both Dauphin County and the state would pass the thresholds required for disaster relief funding, which would reimburse large portions of the costs of dealing with the snow.
Mayor Eric Papenfuse thanked city workers and private contractors for their efforts over the past several days, as well as Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT, who deployed vehicles to clear 2nd, 7th and Market streets. He also thanked residents for the “spirit of community” they demonstrated in shoveling out their streets and sidewalks in their neighborhoods.
The mayor urged people to continue clearing their walks, noting that the city was lenient in the wake of the storm but that it would begin to cite owners who neglected to remove snow and ice from their property. Property owners are responsible for clearing any sections of sidewalk falling within their parcels under city code.