By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The winter weather may cause a budget crunch in Minneapolis. This weekend’s expected storm will be the fourth major snow or ice event since November, making it the snowiest start to winter in nearly 20 years.
So far, there have been three snow emergencies in Minneapolis since January 2010, and a fourth may be called Saturday.
Minneapolis has an $8.5 million winter weather budget, which pays for 20 minor winter events each year and three snow emergencies. This weekend’s storm could be the fourth.
“Then we do need to think about how we’re going to find the money if we do go over budget,” said Mike Kennedy of Minneapolis Public Works.
The timing of the storm makes for an even bigger challenge. With the end of the year only weeks away, there’s really no room to make an adjustment in the budget.
“If it’s in January or February, then a lot of times we say well we might not be able to fill potholes, or might not be able to do something else, then we have that ability to adjust,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said, if needed, city officials will ask council members to approve contingency money, something they typically do since public safety is at stake if the road remain unplowed.
St. Paul city officials say they budget for four snow emergencies each year.
WCCO-TV’s Rachel Slavik Reports