Tuesday’s massive storm will push Halifax closer to running out of snow-removal money.
Mayor Peter Kelly estimates a storm of this magnitude will cost between $750,000 and $1 million to clear the snow and ice. Before Tuesday, a series of storms had already cost the city $11.4 million this winter.
That will put Halifax in a tight spot to get through the next two months. The city has a snow-removal budget of $16.5 million, plus $2.5 million more in reserve.
“If it stays on par with last year, we might be over budget by a million or so,” said Kelly. “If the snow stops and slows down for a bit we might just make it through. If there are more extraordinary storms then we’ll have to respond.”
HRM is actually in a better spot financially this year than it was at the same time last year. But last year it ended up going $4 million over budget.
Kelly said if that happens again this year, the city will have to cut from other sectors to stay out of deficit.