The lack of snow in Quesnel so far this winter is good news for the City’s overextended snow removal budget.
Mayor Bob Simpson says they are roughly a hundred thousand dollars over budget with ten days to go in 2018.
He says they budgeted for 900 thousand dollars, which was up from 800, with the idea that they would build up a snow reserve for years when there is a lot of the white stuff.
Simpson says it’s hard to predict though, especially with the changing weather….
“If you get snow sort of day over day, it stays below zero, you can get your roads set up, you can get your crews all working and you actually keep your costs pretty low. When you get these large dumps of snow that come three or four days and it’s constantly snowing that costs a lot.”
Simpson says snow removal is their largest unknown in the budget.
He says Quesnel also has very high standards when it comes to snow removal that includes the ends of people’s driveways…
“We can cut our snow costs quite dramatically if we reduce the standards but we feel, given the demographic that we have here especially with an aging population, that the standards are important to the public safety and that’s why it costs us so much to do the snow removal.”
Simpson says they are making some adjustments in the City’s operating budget however, looking at things like the balance between contractors and hired employees, contract equipment, and how they move snow around.
He says there is roughly 150 thousand dollars in the snow reserve right now.