With Lack Of Snow, Minnesota Cities Saving Money

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The lack of snow may be costing some businesses a lot of money, but it is having the opposite effect for many cities.

A dry November and December will likely mean that Minneapolis and other cities state-wide will actually finish the year with balanced snow budgets.

Something that was unthinkable at the beginning of the year.

“If we had gotten just a normal snowfall, just a normal December, we are anticipating being a million and a half dollars over budget,” said Steve Kotke, director of public works for Minneapolis.

However, that hasn’t happened. And as a result, Minneapolis could finish the year with a balanced budget.

Kotke said it’s a mini-miracle considering that the streets were hammered with snow and ice in January, February and March. In fact, there were eight snow emergencies during the last snow season. An average winter has about three.

A year ago, all 60 of the city’s snow plows were working overtime. This winter, they sit in the city’s garage. Most of the trucks don’t even have a plow attached.

“We are right on schedule with all our maintenance. That doesn’t happen typically every winter,” said shop foreman, Matt Bjorge.

City workers are finding time to work on trucks and even on street repairs. All while saving the city money on fuel, salt, sand and overtime.

“When we do have to have all hands on deck and out there plowing to get all the snow off the street in three days, it is a lot of overtime. So, we’ve saved a lot in overtime,” said Kotke.

The good thing is this snow emergency grace period has allowed the city to catch up, which means they are now more than ready for whatever January brings.

“Let it snow. We’ll take it. We’re ready,” said Bjorge.

Kotke said this is good for the spring time, because there will be less potholes if this weather continues. In fact, they can fill some of those potholes now while they wait for snow and ice.

Any money saved can go towards street projects, or it can be saved for next December.

More from John Lauritsen
  • Bill

    Wish it was like this every year!

  • TL the alligator

    fantastic….now the next police lawsuit payout wont hurt as much…..and there will be more law suit settlement payouts courtesy of the taxpayers as there is every year.

  • 600XCSP

    don’t worry they will spend all the saved money on something else.

  • me

    ….not yet….January and February is coming…..be prepared…..

  • bk

    So. What will the cities decide to use the money for that they don’t spend on snow removal? Who is going to get a raise or a kickback? I can’t help but believe someone is going to have a fatter wallet and it will not be the taxpayers.

  • snowmobiles

    Firstly it is painful to live here without snow. I”d just go to Kansas if I wanted warm weather. The snowmobiles are sitting wasting away. Secondly the government will simply waste the money elsewhere. It is what they are here to do. Take our money then waste a huge majority of it. A snowstorm for the cities was a boon to the bottom line of the workers as I know first hand. More ‘OT’ for the DB’s.

  • Homer

    I love how the vast majority of the postings on WCCO are by hateful, bitter Reflubilicans and Lybertarians who apparently are either unemployed or stealing from their bosses by posting at work.

    Total, anti-Minnesotan wastes of skin.

    • Homer thank you

      Homer, as we see you are a progressive, liberal, please let us here at the Government know where you would like your income redistribution check sent. A P.O box is just fine as well just so you receive money you didn’t earn. We understand you can not h@te us so long as you aren’t the one from whom we are taking money. We also must mention we noticed you have posted how you seem to have negative feelings about those who are posting. As we do want to ensure you get a good amount of free stuff, we must point out how ironic that is.

  • http://watchdog.org/89822/even-in-down-year-mn-taxpayers-feel-mosquitos-sting/ Even in down year MN taxpayers feel mosquitos’ sting « Watchdog.org

    […] other seasonal scourge of snow, local governments have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on plowing costs in recent winters with lighter snowfall totals.  If the weather cooperates in the spring and […]

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