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City plowing through its snow-clearing budget at a fast rate

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Winnipeg has already plowed through close to half of its annual snow-clearing budget after last month's heavy snowfall.

This morning, city officials revealed it cost Winnipeg about $11 million to clear snow from city streets in January - nearly twice as much as the $6 million they originally budgeted for.

Environment Canada weather data show the city typically receives about 23 centimetres of snow in January. In January 2013, 40.2 cm of snow fell in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg has budgeted about $26 million for snow-clearing this year.

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) said it will be a challenge to budget for snow-clearing going forward, and the city may have to use some of its surpluses if the city continues to see higher-than-normal snowfall levels.

According to a city finance report, Winnipeg recorded a $15.9-million surplus last year -- higher than the estimated $12.5 million, which was put toward Winnipeg's 2013 operating budget. A city statement said the remaining $3.4-million surplus will go toward any budget challenges this year, such as higher-than-normal snowfall.

"It's a bad start for the year," Browaty said.

So far this month, Winnipeg has received 8.6 cm of snow, according to Environment Canada. Historical weather data show about 14 cm of snow falls in Winnipeg during the month of February.

 

 

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