# What Costs \$25,000 an Inch on Weekdays?

And \$35,000 an inch on weekends?

The answer is below the fold.

Snow removal in Danbury, Conn. That’s according to Mayor Mark Boughton. You’ve got to like a mayor who has the dollars-per-inch figure ready when a reporter calls.

#### Client number 6.

Spitzer's hooker.

#### Erik

Thought it was going to be related to male prostitutes...

#### Ian Kemmish

But it's obviously not a linear relationship. There's a fixed cost of sending the snowploughs out to begin with, and if it's deep enough then the lower layers will start to compact and presumably be more expensive to clear, and if it's really deep it will start to melt before you get to all of it....

#### Todd S

Interesting, but wouldn't volume (cubic feet, for instance) be a better measure of snow removal?

#### Joe D

Todd S @4: Since the area to be cleared is presumed fixed (length x width of roads & parking lots), depth is directly proportional to volume. So if the cost is linear with volume, it is also linear with depth.

#### Ariana

Is that an inch of snow that falls or an inch of roadway cleared of snow?

#### Jonathan L

Ariana, it has to be a snowfall measure. An inch of roadway would rack up astronomical costs, even disregarding road width. A 100-foot stretch of road would cost \$30 million if it was an inch of road.

On weekdays.

Football.

#### Machjuan

Wow. Think if they had more than a few inches of roads. I bet it would be less expensive to just walk the few inches.

#### Nosybear

Vertical or horizontal inches? And since we're talking units, shouldn't volume be used, after all, we're clearing cubic feet of snow, not linear inches or area. In short, a nice visual but operationally useless, as the wrong dimensions were used in the comparison.

#### Tg3

@Ariana That was my question!

#### Drill-Baby-Drill drill Team

What Cost \$25,000 an inch on Weekdays?

I was thinking the USS Enterprise or any aircraft carrier. But they cost \$250,000 per inch and if you include the airwing it is more than double that.

#### William J. Keith

I bet there's an inch or two somewhere in the NYTimes that costs \$25,000, maybe with color...

#### Ariana

Yes, astronomical indeed, but we are talking government spending here and one should always ask!

#### Ariana

If we go with an inch of snow that falls why does it cost more to clear 1 inch than 2 inches. Do the snowplows have incremental blades that go up by inches? Are there no semi-fixed costs involved? Do we double the drivers pay for each inch?

#### Ariana

And that is the royal "we". The sun is shining mightly here in Colorado.

#### Ian Callum

If hookers charged by inch, then Spitzer merits a rebate.

#### Eduard Beckstein

\$25,000/inch = \$300,000/foot = \$1.5 billion per mile of snow removal -- I think the mayor is getting hosed...

#### FredK

The measurement is a great heuristic. It is obviously a vertical inch and the reason that 2 inches of snow cost more than one is that, as most people know, snow does not fall in a single blanket but for a length of time. The longer it snows, the longer plows have to be out, the more it costs.

Using this heuristic, a town government can budget snow plowing costs for the year based on expected or past snowfalls.....

#### James

Re #15: "...why does it cost more to clear 1 inch than 2 inches."

Because they send out the plows when the first inch falls, the plows make a trip around to clear that, then repeat for the second & subsequent inches.

And it's amusing (at least when viewing from a place where a good few roads post "Snow not removed beyond this point" signs) that so many people drive high clearance, 4WD vehicles in order to be able to drive through that unplowed inch.