The streets of Sioux Falls may be free of snow right now, but as we all know, it’s not likely to last. The City is hoping for a boost to its snow removal budget.
“Earlier this year, between January and May, had a really active winter, and it expended a number, almost all of our snow removal funds, and so when we model out where we’re at year to date, our snow removal budget started at the beginning of 2019 with 7.7 million,” said Mark Cotter, director of the Public Works Administration with the City of Sioux Falls. “Through October we’d spent 85 percent of that.”
Cotter is asking for $3 million in provisional money. It would just be for this month and next.
“The $3 million was selected with an abundance of caution,” Cotter said. “That would build on our base budget of 7.7 million, and so if we, even if we just needed a fraction of that, that’s what would get pulled in, so we can make sure that we can have good de-icing and/or plow out the city curb to curb if needed.”
That money would come from the unobligated fund balance.
“If you model out our current fund balance, we’re going to be at 100 percent if we don’t get any snow,” Cotter said. “And so we’re already starting to hear some potential for snow today, we want to make sure that we’re ready to move and keep this city moving, and so that’s really why.”
Cotter points out that roads clear of snow are hardly just a convenience.
“From school traffic, daily commuters, businesses that function, if you don’t have good, safe roads that people can make those daily commutes, you’re going to shut down a number of those functions,” Cotter said. “And then clearly first responders, so we want to make sure that first responders can address the calls that they get every day.”