By David F. Rooney
The City’s $800,000 snow-removal budget is almost exhausted and the $200,000 left in that particular envelope is barely enough to see Revelstoke through until spring.
Ask Brian Mallett, director of Engineering and Public Works, what will happen if we receive another major dump and he’ll laugh — nervously.
“That’s not impossible,” he said of the possibility of another big storm. “We’ll just have to wait and see. We’re struggling to meet expectations within the constraints of our budget.”
Operations Manager Darren Komonski said Revelstoke has received almost twice as much snow as it did last year, when it was kissed with just 220 cm of the white stuff. So far this year, residents have seen 434 cm — 300 cm in January alone — come dropping out of the sky.
That kind of volume meant the contractors who perform the bulk of the snow-removal operations worked especially hard and long. And that basically drained the budget.
Komonoski said the City will try to get with its two trucks, grader and snowblower. Snow will continue to be hauled away, but not at the pace that many might like.
“Our biggest concern is getting emergency vehicles through the streets,” he said, adding that his other concern is the physical height of some of the snow piles. Some are almost as high as the power and utility lines.
Komonoski said municipal crews will continue to try and widen the streets (some like Moss and Cottonwood are barely one lane wide) as best they can. But that may mean using the blower to blow snow further onto people’s lawns.
“@#$%!” said one colourful local character. “That means we’ll have snow in our yards until July!”
It may not be that bad, but perhaps it’s time to say a prayer to the snow gods begging them to go back to sleep for another year.
The snow removal budget for next year is currently set at just under $700,000.