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Snow Makes a Winter Weston-Land

Weston's recent snowfall shattered a half-century-old record for snow in a single month. In 1945, 45.3 inches of snow fell in December. January numbers are already closing in on five feet, and the National Weather Service is predicting more fluff to fall next week.

The snow has disrupted everything in town. Town hall closings, events canceled, roads impassable, power failures and schools empty. The roof at the library sits half-finished, with one end waiting to be torn out and the other side weathering fast.

The costs are adding up. The numbers for the past three storms haven't been totaled. But as of Jan. 3, Weston had spent $41,000 cleaning the roads and grounds. This leaves only $96,000 left for the rest of the fiscal year, said Tom Landry, town administrator.

"The bulk of that expense is for the purchase of sand and salt that will be used throughout the year," Landry said, adding that the figure can be misleading at first glance.

Weston went over its budget last year for contracted snow removal by more than $32,000. The snowfall last week took 16 hours to clean up, using 11 employees working a total of 175 overtime hours at a cost of $19,800. The snowfall Wednesday may prove to be cheaper, given that it was mostly snow with little ice and rain.

The total town budget or snow removal is $137,500, said First Selectman Gayle Weinstein , with overtime spending at $56,855. If the town goes over budget, which is likely given the volume of snow and number of snowfalls, Weston officials will have to dip into its contingency fund like it did last year.

Weston schools missed many days of school already, and schedule changes look inevitable. It's unclear whether the graduation date for Weston High School has changed or whether spring break will be canceled to ensure the mandated 180 days of instruction are met.

But all is not lost: Massive igloos and record-setting snowmen await construction, and there certainly is enough free time and able hands to make it happen.

What do you think? Is this a winter wonderland or a frigid hades? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below.

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