Municipalities, Businesses Gear Up for Winter

It may be months away, but cities and towns across Connecticut are already gearing up for winter expenses.

Many towns craft budgets based on historical averages rather than hoarding money away for "the big one" when it comes to a harsh winter.

"What we do with budgeting is we try to trend," said Scott Shanley, who has served as Manchester's town manager since 2006. "You can’t budget for an unusually big winter because it’s just asking for too much money."

The town has also taken steps to ensure everything town officials plan to spend money on will be ready when the snow hits.

"We’ve ordered all of the equipment that we need. We have a plow that has arrived. We’ve talked to our contractors to make sure that we are getting the right agreements together for the winter," Shanley said.

Last year, the town of Manchester, like many cities and towns and the state of Connecticut, went over budget for snow removal. Municipalities have contingency plans to take funds from other accounts in order to ensure public safety.

At least one retailer in Manchester has already started stocking its shelves for the impending winter.

"We’ve also got in four pallets of ice melt already just because we’ve got to start stocking that stuff early," said Tim Duell, a sales associate at Manchester Hardware. "We’ve got customers who want it as soon as they can get their hands on it."

He said he expects to get more shovels into the store earlier than last year, considering the demand last winter.

"We couldn’t keep them on the shelves last year. That and roof rakes. They went like hot cakes," he said. "If we could have gotten another hundred, we would have sold another hundred, but they weren’t making them."

He said he thinks people are used to the fact that a harsh winter is likely a reality.

"It should be a pretty intense winter from what the farmer’s almanac is telling us, so who knows what’s going to happen in New England?" he said.

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