How much will snow storm cut into winter budget?

The city's total budget for winter storm operations is around $4 million. This week's storm could cost nearly $1 million.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – This week’s snow storm could be costly.

Plowing residential streets after a snow storm typically costs between $300,000 and $460,000. Officials say this week’s storm has already surpassed those numbers.

“I would say yes, for this event, we are going to surpass that amount,” LTU maintenance operations manager Tim Byrne said.

According to the city’s website, Lincoln drivers pay $7.85 per year through the Street Improvement Vehicle Tax.

The city’s total budget for winter storm operations is around $4 million. This week’s storm could cost nearly $1 million. Does this mean the city is at risk of exceeding its winter budget?

“It’s too early to tell if we’re going to be behind on the budget,” Byrne said. “We still have a lot of winter left. We’ve gotten hit pretty good here by two storms so far this season but all we can do from here on out is kind of see what the rest of the season brings.”

Byrne says the biggest difference between this snow storm and a typical storm is the amount of time it has taken to clear the snow and the amount of resources that have been required.

“We’re plowing residentials, we’re plowing arterials, we are delivering chemical treatments to the ice streets,” Byrne said. “We are doing complete removal in business districts, but the burden placed on those operations is larger.”

Will this year’s storm be Lincoln’s most costly? Byrne says the two other storms in the conversation are the storm in 1965, which had a record 19 inches of snow, and the snow in October of 1997, which had less snowfall, but significant ice accumulations that took down several trees and power lines.

“I don’t know that just yet,” Byrne said. “We we have had some good storms in the past and we’ll be able to kind of see if we could roll up what those compared to.”


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