(Tuesday - March 02, 2021) - One of the more
expensive duties of a municipality in a snow zone is keeping the streets
safe for the driving public. Not only is the equipment that is used for
things like plowing snow extremely expensive, but due to the nature of
this endeavor, those doing the work are usually called on to work
overtime to do so. Add to this the cost of the tons of road salt that
must be used, the maintenance on equipment, the fuel used by the trucks
and the many other expenses involved, and snow removal and road
treatment take a huge bite out of any municipality's budget.
year, municipalities in this region got a break, with lower than normal
snowfall. While some worry that we may be in a snow draught, and that
this could cause other ramifications later; it is a blessing for cash
strapped cities, townships and counties throughout the snow region.
Scott Thomas, Superintendent of Iron Mountain's Public Works
Department told the City Council at its Monday meeting, that as of
December 31st, the City had spent $101,000.00 less on snow removal than
had been budgeted.
However, that doesn't mean that the City can
go on a spending spree. City Manager Jordan Stanchina said that it may
not actually mean that the City will have a surplus. With all of the
uncertainties surrounding municipal financing at this time, it won't be
known until later in the fiscal year exactly what shape the budget will
be in. The City has had to absorb many additional expenses during the
Pandemic, but much of that money has been reimbursed by the State. City
officials are still working on the numbers, as they prepare for the
drafting of next year's budget.
In any event, this comes as good
news at a time when good news is seriously lacking.