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Winter gives snowplowing budget a beating

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 17, 2014 - 2:32 PM |
City councillors will formally receive news this evening that the winter maintenance budget for 2013 was $3 million higher than forecast. File photo.

City councillors will formally receive news this evening that the winter maintenance budget for 2013 was $3 million higher than forecast. File photo.

Comes in at $3M higher than budget for 2013

With the 2013 winter road maintenance budget coming in nearly $3 million higher than forecast, and with 2014 already overbudget by $1 million, mother nature seems intent on causing problems for drivers and taxpayers in Greater Sudbury.

City councillors will formally receive the news this evening when the operations committee meets at Tom Davies Square. The winter maintenance budget for 2013 was forecast at $15,048,748, but came in at just more than $18 million.


A tough month pushed costs $718,000 higher in December alone. For 2013 as a whole, only March recorded lower-than-normal snowfall amounts, with the annual tally for the entire winter coming in at 310 cm -- 53 cm more than average.

And 2014 is also starting poorly, at least in budget terms. The 2014 snowplowing budget was increased to almost $16 million, but with 92 cm of snow falling in January – 32 cm more than normal – the city is already overbudget by $1.05 million.

Historically, spikes in Greater Sudbury's snowplowing budgets are paid for from a reserve fund that is replenished in years with milder winters. For example, the snowplowing budget came in $1 million lower than forecast as recently as 2012. In 2010, mild weather resulted in a surplus of more than $4 million.

The winter road maintenance budget includes plowing, sanding and salting 3,560 lane kilometres in Greater Sudbury. It includes money to handle 33 winter storms each year, as well money for such items as hauling away snow, removing snowbanks and plowing sidewalks.

The largest city geographically in Ontario, the city's winter maintenance budget has increased substantially since 2002, when it totalled $7.8 million. It was $13.6 million in 2007, and will come in at a little more than $18 million in 2013. 
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer

@Darrenmacd

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