Calgary

September snow tree repair costs could require dip into city savings

City council is being asked to dip into its savings to recover the costs from the freak snowstorm that walloped Calgary in September.

Council to consider using fiscal reserve fund to defray replanting and pruning costs

City council will consider a proposal from administration to dip into Calgary's Fiscal Stabilization Reserve Fund to cover costs associated with repairing and replacing damaged trees. (CBC)

City council is being asked to dip into its savings to recover the costs from the freak snowstorm that walloped Calgary in September.

The unusually early snowfall left trees toppled and branches broken all over the city.

Council is being asked Monday to approve spending $35 million from the Fiscal Stabilization Reserve Fund on tree pruning, replanting and a long-term recovery plan.

Coun. Andre Chabot said the costs are unavoidable.

“You can't plant big trees because you're essentially planting firewood when you do that. You have to plant small trees and then they have to mature,” he said.

“So there's a cost associated with that and the maintenance of those trees over a long period of time and trees provide a tremendous benefit to the city.”

Chabot said the city hopes to recover much of the money through disaster assistance programs.

The city is also calling for $12 million in next year's operating budget to be spent on recovery from the storm, pushing the total cost of the disaster to over $47 million.

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