Putting a price on a snowstorm in Quincy

Two snowstorms in less than a week have taken a toll on communities across the Tri-States.

In Quincy, the cost to plow the snow from this storm is almost double of what a usual snow removal costs. The snow hit the area pretty heavy Tuesday morning, adding another 4 or 5 inches to what's already on the ground.

The city was under a snow emergency until about 4 :15 p.m. Tuesday, during which time police could ticket you for parking along a snow emergency route. Getting a ticket could cost you $25.

That's nothing compared to what this snow storm will cost the city as a whole.

"When we go into a major snow situation, it becomes far more serious and far more expensive," Marty Stegeman, director of Quincy Central Services said.

Mounds of snow weigh heavily on Quincy city crews who continue to plow through the same streets over and over again.

"We started pre-treating roads this morning early, really early," Stegeman said.

Stegeman says the plows hit the roads at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday and will continue through the night. That kind of manpower, salt and equipment won't come cheap.

"We'll be well over $60,000," Stegeman said.

It's roughly the same amount the city used during last Thursday's snowfall, bringing the total cost of two snow removals to more than $100,000. Stegeman says it still doesn't compare to the blizzard conditions of 2011.

"2011 was more snow than the city could handle independently. We had to contract out to bring equipment in heavy duty loaders, additional trucks to haul snow away. So, from a comparison standpoint, 2011 will far outpace what we've done this year on these two snows," Stegeman said.

The cost of a snowstorm is more than just plows and salt. Local businesses are experiencing a ripple effect from everyone staying home. Park Bench Owner Sue Schmidt summed up Tuesday's business in two short words.

"Very slow. This being the second one in a week's time, we've had to cut back staff drastically," Schmidt said.

Schmidt along with a handful of other business owners along Washington Square hung out at the Park Bench for most of the day because they had no customers.

"We might get lucky and get a few people in. We did last week. We did have a few people that came in for lunch. Does it pay off? With the employees you have to pay and the electric and everything...I don't know if it equals out or it doesn't. So, it does have a big impact on us," Schmidt said.