Ottawa's 2017 snow-clearing budget already facing $9.3M deficit
'Extreme winter conditions' blamed for snow budget shortfall
The City of Ottawa's snow-clearing budget has already run up a $9.3 million deficit through the first three months of 2017 after what city staff call "extreme winter conditions" this year.
City staff outlined the early deficit in a quarterly report to be presented to the finance and economic development committee that meets next week.
The report blamed the 172.9 centimetres of snow accumulation, 95.2 millimetres of rain and a total of 50 "winter events."
"Winter maintenance costs in Q1 were higher than budgeted, primarily as a result of extreme winter conditions experienced in the first half of the 2017 winter season," staff wrote.
City staff said it was the most snowfall in the first three months of the year since 2008.
The actual budget cost for winter clearing for 2017 won't be calculated until the end of the year.
City consistently in red for snow clearing
It wouldn't be the first time the city's public works and environmental services department has blown through its snow clearing budget.
- Expect snow clearing changes as Ottawa tries to get costs under control
- Ottawa's snow threshold held firm at 7 centimetres
The City of Ottawa spent $13.8 million more on winter operations last year than it budgeted, making 2016 the fifth straight year in which the city ran into the red clearing snow and ice.
The city had reviewed its snow clearing operations last year in a bid to cut costs and increase efficiency and had added $4.5 million to the base budget for maintaining roads in the winter.
The roads services department is scheduled to report back to the transportation committee by the end of June with "an update on progress made to date on these strategies and operational efficiencies."