A mild end to last winter offset a sometimes-snowy start to this one, meaning Woolwich’s snow-clearing budget is likely to have a surplus when 2017 comes to an end.
The township manages its budget based on the calendar year, meaning snow removal costs typically comes early and late in the process.
The very wintry weather we’ve had at times since last month have not been frequent enough to drain the coffers, said Dan Kennaley, the township’s director of engineering and planning.
Of the $700,000 allocated at the start of the year for road snow removal, $474,000 was spent between January and April, while a further $82,000 was spent up until the end of November. The balance of approximately $144,000 remains for the month of December.
Of the $41,000 budgeted to clear sidewalks outside municipal buildings (schools, fire stations), $27,000 was spent between January to the end of November. Kennaley noted this week that there may be a few more invoices to add into the system, but the money left in the kitty should be more than adequate to last through the end of December.
The roads are cleared by township staff, with costs for wages, salt and sand fluctuating based on the weather.
Private contractors look after sidewalks and municipal parking lots.
Sidewalk clearing in Elmira was budgeted at $128,000 at the start of the year. With $75,000 spent so far, there’s $53,000 left for the month of December. Costs are billed back to Elmira property owners through a special levy.
A separate budget is maintained for clearing municipal parking lots. In 2017, a total of $38,000 was earmarked for the contract, while only $17,000 has been spent through to the end of November.
“Lots of margin there. We shouldn’t have any problems with regards to our parking lots,” said Kennaley.
Woolwich council last week awarded three-year contracts to the companies that carry out the work. Mitchell Property Maintenance carries out the Elmira sidewalk snow-clearing and looks after the municipal parking lots.
In St. Jacobs, Conestogo and Heidelberg, it’s Beggs Excavating Inc. that clears snow from around municipal buildings, while Wright Landscaping Services Inc. will do the same in Maryhill, Bloomingdale and Breslau.