Those who made plans for Super Bowl Sunday, expecting a bit of nuisance snow based on the morning forecast, got a rude reminder that winter is still here.
And there is plenty more coming on the heels of Sunday’s snowstorm.
Parts of Warren and Saratoga counties got more than 15 inches of snow Sunday, from a storm that was forecast earlier in the day to bring 3 to 6 inches, with a few spots hitting 8 inches.
What was a “winter weather advisory” was upgraded to a “winter storm warning” Sunday afternoon, and the snow kept coming well into Sunday night.
Warrensburg had the highest total locally with 15.6 inches, with western Greenfield in Saratoga County getting 15.3 inches and Johnsburg 13 inches.
A foot of snow accumulated around the rest of Warren and northern Saratoga counties.
So what happened?
Christina Speciale, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, said a band of heavy snow set up over northern Saratoga County and much of Warren County on Sunday afternoon, and it caused fluffy snow to pile up into mid-evening.
“In the afternoon, a band developed parallel to the (higher) terrain due to southwest winds,” she said. “That band dumped a lot of snow.”
The storm is the first of several headed to the Northeast this week.
Speciale said a sizable storm is expected to roll in for Wednesday, with initial forecasts calling for 6 to 12 inches of accumulation. A winter storm warning has been issued from 7 a.m. Wednesday until 4 a.m. Thursday.
“It could be a widespread and significant snowstorm,” she said.
And another winter weather event is forecast for Sunday, although whether it will be snow, ice or rain was unclear this far out.
The debate over a change in the Warren County Meals on Wheels program is far from over.
The proposal would have Washington County take over making the meals, but supervisors there have serious doubts about the proposal.
At a recent Health and Human Services committee meeting, Washington County supervisors sharply questioned the cost of doubling the number of meals made at the county kitchen.
“There was a lot of questions about how there might be additional expense,” said committee Chairwoman and Greenwich Supervisor Sara Idleman.
The committee decided not to approve the proposal, at least for now.
“That’s going back to the drawing board,” Idleman said. “We need more information before anything is decided.”
She was surprised to see that Warren County supervisors, in two committees, agreed last week to go forward with the proposal. The full Warren County Board of Supervisors plans to vote on it Feb. 16.
That’s far too soon for Washington County to have a final proposal for both sides to agree upon.
“There’s no way we’re ready,” Idleman said.
While Washington County plans to discuss it again this week, it’s also on the agenda for a Feb. 28 committee meeting. The earliest Washington County could approve it would be March 16.
Idleman said she expects the final proposal to be different from what Warren County approved in committee last week.
“I was surprised to read in The Post-Star that they did that,” Idleman said. “They have to revisit it.”
The issue is scheduled to be discussed Thursday at the 9:30 a.m. Finance Committee meeting in Washington County. The proposal could involve increasing each worker’s hours from 35 hours a week to 40 hours a week, and that change would be a personnel matter. But the item is not on the agenda.
The general proposal is to increase the number of meals for seniors by consolidating Warren and Washington counties’ cooking work. The Washington County kitchen, at the county jail, would go from making 80,000 meals to 160,000 meals.
Warren County hopes to save $74,000 by outsourcing the cooking and laying off four part-time staffers at the meal site at the Cedars Senior Living Community in Queensbury. Three other staffers would also get fewer hours, but meals would still be served at the Cedars and delivered to seniors who get home delivery.
Seniors in Warren County objected to the plan, saying they had befriended the staffers and wanted to keep the program at the Cedars. But that’s not a factor in the Washington County supervisors’ decision.
The sticking point is the cooking. Doubling the number of meals cooked each day could come with big costs, said Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks. He is among the supervisors who are not convinced the plan would save money or even be cost-neutral.
“I think there are some of us who have significant doubts,” he said. “Certainly, if we can do it without increasing our costs, I think we should investigate it.”
But organizers must “drill down” on the figures to determine the exact costs.
“Your fixed costs are going up significantly,” he said.