Over $100,000 in the red
SUMMERSIDE – A snowy month of December has drained the city’s snow removal budget for 2013.
Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall said the city budget runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, although it is not officially passed until late March.
He said predicting how much money will be needed for snow removal in any given year is really a guessing game.
“What we put in the budget for snow removal for 2013 was $605,000,” he said. “We came up with those numbers based on previous years. We average it out over a number of years. As of early in December, we were at $645,000 (spent) and we expect with the recent snowfalls and the amount of snow that has come down and the salt that we’ve used, we’re going to be around the $700,000 mark by the end of December. All of the bills are not in yet but we’re probably from $100,000 to $115,000 over budget.”
MacDougall said he isn’t surprised that the snow removal budget is the red and that he thought the end overdraft figures would be higher.
“This is a little better than I thought with the amount of snow we had,” he said. “We had a lot of snow last year and the amount of salt we used and the gas prices. The outside contractors that we use are included in that too. Gas prices are up, wages are up. But people need their streets cleaned. It’s something that we have to do.”
MacDougall said as council gets into budget deliberations for 2014 they will be dealing with the loss.
“This year, when we do the budget, we will be looking at the number again and averaging it over the last number of years,” he said. “It will probably have to be upped unless somebody wants to forecast rain for us all next winter.”