Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 8:00 AM

Financial Impact of the January 17 Blizzard

Blowback on Pennywell

The blizzard of January 17, 2020 continues to have a significant impact on winter operations.

Annually, the City budgets for snow clearing based on an average winter. Our 2020 budget for this program is approximately $17.5 million. 

At this point, we can estimate that our 2020 snow clearing budget could be exceeded by $4 - $5 million dollars.

This is an approximate total figure and takes into account staff overtime, contracted snow removal costs, fleet expenses, fuel and other supplies. 

It is difficult to say exactly what the overage will be as it is highly dependent on the weather for the rest of this winter season. Another key factor is how much the City can recover from the disaster relief assistance provided by the federal government; this number will not be known until much later in 2020.

It is fortunate we are very early in the fiscal year, so we have time to develop a solid plan to address this overage. Staff are already examining options, including use of the snow clearing reserve of $2 million and reducing or deferring other expenditures.  In addition, as we finalize the accounts for the 2019 fiscal year, any savings identified may be available to apply against the blizzard costs of 2020.

I want to again thank our staff for their hard work and the public for their patience during the adverse weather. I commit to keeping the public informed on the financial impacts of the blizzard and our plans to address those within our announced 2020 Budget.

Mayor Danny Breen