Saugeen Shores 2018 snow clearing over budget

(© Can Stock Photo / pitrs)

Saugeen Shores council is digging into reserves to cover a budget shortfall for winter snow clearing last year.

Director of Engineering and Public Works Amanda Froese says they went over their $600,000 winter control budget by about $60,000 for the calendar year 2018, thanks to a trend of weekend snowfall early in the year.

“This past year, we had a lot of snowstorms during overtime [hours], so Friday evenings and weekends seemed to be when it snowed, so we had a lot of manpower out clearing the roads,” said Froese.

In addition, Froese said it’s expensive for municipalities when the temperature fluctuates frequently as it did late in the year, with precipitation switching back and forth from rain to snow.

“When it’s going to go freezing rain, we go patrol the roads and put salt and sand down and then we have to go back again and again and re-sand, re-salt,” said Froese. “When you have a nice, easy snowfall, you can plow and you don’t go through nearly as much material.”

Froese said the winter control reserve fund will be used to cover the deficit, while they are increasing the budget for 2019 in hopes of staying in the black.