DENBIGHSHIRE County Council are ready for winter with nearly £1 million set aside for the cold months ahead.
The council has a £709,000 winter maintenance plan with another £226,000 available if the county suffers severe snow fall.
A community scrutiny committee report on Denbighshire County Council’s winter plan revealed that snow clearance alone during the 10 days of heavy snow in March cost £176,000.
Denbighshire will also have four new gritters, a spreader and nearly 10,000 tonnes of salt on reserve by October to be prepared for winter.
In March this year the country was brought to a standstill after severe snow drifts caused eight inches of deep drifts, the heaviest snowfall in 34 years.
Denbighshire County Council had problems with getting to remote places in the county as well as clearing snow and fallen trees from roads for people to get out of their homes.
The council has to deploy agricultural contractors to clear minor roads and use a range of machinery to get the road network clear including loading shovels, JCBs, large excavators, snow blowers, gritters and agri-ploughs.
The report said: “We have again retained the services of a number of agricultural contractors and they will provide a support service to the remainder of the rural network in the event of any snowfall.
“One of these was equipped with salt spreading capability last year in the Llangollen area and this proved particularly effective. As a result we are now procuring at least one more spreader (to be deployed in the Bryneglwys area) and will look to extend this provision further in the coming years”.
The number of gritting routes in the county was 11 and now three routes have been amended for an enhanced level of service in the Cwm, Llangwyfan/Llangynhafal and Derwen/Clawddnewydd areas.
The Welsh Government is currently constructing a strategic salt store in Rhuallt which will hold the extra salt to meet the 10,000-tonne target.
The report said: “There is a base budget from the highways revenue allocation of £709,000 with further contingency available should the weather prove more severe than average.
“It should be noted that the severe weather in March resulted in this contingency having to be used and members may be interested to note that the 10 days of snow clearance activity alone in March cost £176,000 so severe weather can have a significant impact on budgets.”
The report to the scrutiny committee set out “the delivery of safer routes for the county’s residents and keeping the county open for business during adverse weather conditions”.
Salt bins in the county will be filled by end of September and will be kept stocked up through out winter.
The report added: “In conclusion we feel that we are as well prepared for winter as we can reasonably be.”