The final bill came in at $1,331, 608, which was more than 300 thousand dollars over budget.
The city is also up to about 840 thousand dollars this year, which is well one its way to a budget of just over 1.1 million.
We asked Mayor Bob Simpson if he thinks they will be able to stay under budget this year…
“Your guess is as good as mine. The problem we have with the climate changing is, and we’ve experienced it, we’ve had early winters where we have not seen snow until past New Year’s, and so if we get something like I think it was two or three years ago, where we didn’t really get any snow until December 27th or 28th, then what remains in the snow budget may be sufficient. If we get something like we did this year where you start to get snow early and it comes and goes, comes and goes, then it could be a high cost year.”
Simpson says snow removal is something that has become more and more unpredictable, and he says it’s not just the snow…
“You could have a low snow year but you have a year where it keeps popping up and down below zero, or -2 to plus 2, and that small amount of moisture that you have on the ground becomes highly problematic with respect to just managing ice conditions or road conditions, so moving snow around is very expensive, but maintaining road systems when they don’t set up for winter is expensive too.”
Simpson says that’s why the Finance Committee is recommending that a snow reserve be established to offset the years that go way over budget.
He says they would start to establish it, if Council approves, in the 2021 operating budget.