The Ottumwa Courier

March 8, 2013

Winter weather budgets for city, county solid

City’s total bill for this winter $118K, about half the budget allowed

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — How much has the weather cost the city and county so far?

Ottumwa Public Works Director Steve Edgington said Thursday that the last two storms — and “one of those was a three-day deal” — will be added onto the file. The total this winter: $118,000.

“That’s a total for the five events, and it’s not as bad as some years,” Edgington said. “Even if we run up to and including Feb. 22, then we’ve spent half of the budget allowed.”

Edgington said the numbers “are fine and won’t run over.” He’s assuming there will be a surplus, and he’ll order another 100 tons of salt.

Then public works should have enough sand on hand with what they hauled in a week ago.

“If the forecast stays about the same, we should be OK, as long as there aren’t major events like 14 inches of snow,” he said.

Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker said the county workers plan for snow removal costs so the county won’t go over the budget for removing the snow. The same is true for salt supplies.

“We’ve had a lot of snow, but we may be through with big storms,” Parker said. “As far as causing budget concerns, it’s late in the year now.”

While storms and “big snows” might still happen in Wapello County, it won’t last long.

“The snow will be gone before it’s bladed,” Parker said. “Snow removal hasn’t caused Wapello County any problems at this point.”

Akhilesh Pal is the public works director in Oskaloosa. He said they don’t track the individual storms like Ottumwa public works.

“We’re a small city and might spend $20,000 just for material,” he said. “Last winter wasn’t bad, and we have salt and sand left from the previous year.”

Using materials from last year helped a lot, Pal added.