Just as the Thanksgiving snow storm marked the start of winter snow removal season, the Haverhill city council will have its say on a proposed two-step pay increase schedule for private snow plow operators clearing snow from city streets.
On Tuesday’s agenda, councilors are expected to vote on Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s proposal to increase basic hourly rates for contractor snow plowing and hauling based on six gross vehicle weight categories for trucks and heavy equipment. Under the mayor’s plan, pay rates effective Dec. 2 would range from $52 per hour for trucks up to 9,000 pounds and not to exceed $125 per hour for “special” equipment determined by the highway superintendent, unless directed by the city council.
In the next fiscal year beginning next July 1, the rates for plow and dump trucks would increase to at least $55 per hour and as much as $88 per hour for 10-wheelers weighing more than 36,000 pounds. Rates for heavy equipment such as front-end loaders would remain unchanged from the December rate of $110 per hour.
Based on a total 190 private trucks and loaders used by the city, total snow removal costs per hour would run from the existing, nearly $11,000 to more than $12,300 in December, and to more than $13,400 by fiscal year 2016.
If passed by the council, the new contractor snow removal rates would replace those last set in 2007. The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.