SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) –The snow keeps piling up across KELOLAND and so do the snow removal bills.
“Every time we see these snowfalls come and up in that double-digit number, it’s just really hard on them,” Abbie Coffey, the Director of Operations for Pendar Properties said.
The maintenance staff for Pendar Properties handles all of the snow removals at their three downtown Sioux Falls properties.
“It’s a cost in time for us,” Coffey said.
“The snow we got over the past couple of days took us over our annual budget,” Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church lead pastor Eric Ohrtman said.
Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church contracts out all of their snow removal; they’ve spent the entire year’s budget in just two months.
“We’re already looking at a snow event again next week and wondering what November and December of next year will bring,” Ohrtman said.
Part of the increased expense is working to keep their large parking lot clean all week.
“We are a seven-day-a-week ministry, our preschool folks are here open at eight in the morning,” Ohrtman said. “We don’t want to say no by having snow close us and keep people away, so that priority means that we’re going to spend and be ready for that.”
But the main reason for blowing through snow removal budgets this winter is the sheer amount of snowfall we’ve seen.
“We don’t have space to put all this snow, so our cost for pickup, we have someone who comes in and picks it up and hauls it out for us, so that is an extra cost for us,” Coffey said.
All of the huge snow piles are also taking up some of the parking spaces at the church, which is a big deal come Sunday morning.
“We because of the loss of parking space have contracted to have our snow picked up and piled around the edges of our parking lot, of course, that’s immensely expensive,” Ohrtman said.
While this winter may come with a big sticker shock, there is some good news when you look at the big picture.
“We just know that last year we hardly spent anything on it, this year we’re going to be spending a lot more, but it will even out in the long run,” Coffey said.
But the bigger bill this year does mean having to compensate for the added expense.
For some businesses that could mean passing the costs onto customers, for non profits like the church, it means cutting from other areas to help keep the ministry open through this winter and next.