Friday, April 25, 2014

Saint John, New Brunswick, snow-clearing budget overspent by $2M

Report for councillors says city has faced twice as many large snow storms as a normal year

CBC News Posted: Apr 25, 2014 10:43 AM AT Last Updated: Apr 25, 2014 10:43 AM AT
Saint John 2014 snow-clearing budget is projected to hit $8.2 million, more than $2 million over budget, according to a city report.

An internal report prepared for Saint John council's meeting on Monday notes there have been 19 major snow events this winter and three major rain events that were immediately followed by freezing temperatures.

That is twice the number of major snow events what would be expected in a normal winter.

Environment Canada data indicates there were 46.1 centimetres of snow in Saint John in March, with 79.4 cm in February, 44.8 cm in January and 70 cm in December 2013.

In the same months the previous winter, there was 12.3 cm of snow in March 2013, 20.2 cm in February, 12.7 cm in January and 57.9 cm in December 2012.

The city is in the process of reviewing each department and asking what would happen if each department had its spending limited to a two-per-cent increase for inflation and what would happen if the budget was frozen.

The process, which was prompted by Saint John Mayor Mel Norton, was designed to give councillors a thorough understanding of the spending pressures in the city.

Norton also said in March the comprehensive review will almost certainly result in a shifting of funds and with some city services being cut.


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