Montreal goes over its snow-removal budget, again

Montreal's executive committee is facing an additional $6 million in snow-removal costs after a wild winter caused expenses to soar.

City spent an additional $6M, says exceptional winter weather is to blame

Most winters, Montreal removes about 12-million cubic metres of snow from its streets. This season, it removed more than 14 million. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Winter may be over, but this past season was particularly hard on Montrealers — and on the city's snow-removal budget.

Montreal is facing an additional $6 million in snow-removal costs, including $4 million for snow-removal contracts and another $2 million for the operation and rental of machinery.

The executive committee is expected to approve the expense later today.

The city was already $20 million over its snow-clearing budget by mid-March in 2018.

Officials are blaming this winter's extra costs on the exceptional weather — an early, mid-November start to the winter season kicked off a wild ride that lasted all the way into April. 

Nearly 210 centimetres of snow fell starting in mid-November, 18 centimetres above average.

And as winter dragged into spring, cooler temperatures meant the snow was slow to melt.

There were six complete snow-loading operations and one partial-load operation during the winter. There was a 60 per cent jump in sidewalk operations, the city says.

According to the executive committee meeting agenda, the city usually transports about 12 million cubic metres of snow to disposal sites. This year, it rose to more than 14 million cubic metres.

Below-average temperatures, more rain than usual and freeze-thaw episodes also increased costs, the agenda says.

With files from Radio-Canada


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