A calm winter has led to extra funds in the City snow budget as well as savings in various departments.
So far, over $200,000 still remain in the public works overtime account and the snow operating materials account.
“A lot of the materials budget is spent, because we have to commit to buying a certain amount each year,” said Mark Moriarty, public works director. “There is some salt that we will have to buy that will be in storage until next year.”
About $175,000 is budgeted for overtime and $250,000 is budgeted for operating materials and supplies.
“Last year we were at a shortage,” said Moriarty. “It’s hard to forecast what your expenditures are going to be year to year for snow operations.”
What is done is departments take a five year average of materials etc… to determine a budget for the next year.
“You base your budget on that five year average,” said Moriarty. “If you budget for the worst year, you over budget. If you budget for a year like this you under budget.”
Funds that have been unused will go to the general fund to be used for other City costs later in the year. It will go under a surplus funds account to be used as needed by the finance department.
“This is the most obvious place that we saved money this winter, but every department saved money with heating costs,” said Moriarty. “We didn’t use that much money. It helped us out in repair costs as well. There are more repair costs in a heavy winter.”
Other places that benefited were gas for snow operations.
“By having a late winter we didn’t use as much fuel as we typically we use,” said Moriarty. “The light winter impacts a whole host of line items beyond those two accounts.”
Costs for Storm Alfred are not included as most of it will be refunded by the federal government. The cost for that storm alone was over $500,000.