Twin Cities officials trying to find money for snow emergenicesby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — City officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul are trying to find the money to pay for this year's unusually high number of snow emergencies.
Both cities declared six this year; one back in February and five more since November.
Minneapolis Public Works Director Steve Kotke said the city set aside $8.7 million for snow removal, but spent close to $12 million. That's despite average snowfall totals for the year.
"If we get an inch or two every day, that's easier for us to manage from a budget perspective," Kotke said. "It's when we get large amounts of snow and have to declare snow emergencies. When we do that it's literally all hands on deck."
In St. Paul, Public Works Director Rich Lallier said he's still crunching the numbers, but he says there might be some extra money in the street and sidewalk fund.
"We're looking at where we might have under spent to do things. I'm sure we're not going to be able to fill the entire gap with that," Lallier said. "But there is a fund balance in the right-of-way fund and we will be utilizing that to cover the shortfall in our budget."
The good news is that the cities run on calendar year budgets. So even though winter officially started on Tuesday, the spending clock resets January 1.