City snow budget on course

About half of $4.9 million 2018 snow budget spent so far

Red Deer has spent about half of its snow-clearing budget — pretty much right on track.

Public works manager Greg Sikora said he’s spent about $2.4 million of his $4.9-million budget.

“It’s very typical,” he said.

Depending on the winter, the city usually heads into spring having spent anywhere from 40 to 60 per cent of its snow-clearing budget, which is based on a calendar year.

Last year, the snow and ice control budget was just over $5 million. The actual budget came in just $70,000 short of that.

Considering the unpredictability of Central Alberta weather that is pretty impressive estimating by any measure.

”Weather conditions can impact our program considerably and we have to remain nimble enough to address the issues at hand,” he said.

“Some of it might be plowing and some of it might be traction control.”

“Earlier this year warm conditions actually creates a different challenge, taking care of the freeze-thaw cycles.”

So even if the plows are not needed, sanders are out in force.

The city counts on a five-month snow season with October and April considered shoulder seasons.

So, it’s not over yet.

When spring arrives, drainage issues keep crews busy.

“Then at the beginning of April we’ll be right into street cleaning and we’ll move forward there sweeping up the sand that we put down.”

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