October 24, 2014
It's winter, but you wouldn't know it by looking outside. Sunny skies and record high temperatures replace ice packed streets and snow covered roadways.
It's saving the city of Lincoln good money on salt and manpower.
"We're trying to be proactive but try to be smart with the money," Operations Manager, Scott Opfer said.
Lincoln's $3.44 million snow removal budget has hardly been touched this season.
"What our goal is every year is to be as efficient as we can with the dollars budgeted so that at the end of the year, hopefully we have a little bit left over. If we do have it left over, we put it into a carry over fund," Opfer said.
The city needed that reserve fund two years ago. Extreme snow wiped out the $3.03 million budget. The city dipped into the fund for $1.2 million.
"I thought we did a good job of dealing with the storms but restraining ourselves to a point where we didn't break the bank," Opfer said. "We got into our contingency fund but we left that year with money still in our contingency."
The city wants to have a reserve fund of $1.5 million. Right now, it's at $394,000.
"2009 basically ate up most of that. We are slowly building that back up hopefully," Opfer said. "We need to get that carry over build back up and that's where that balance of knowing how much to throw at a storm versus not throw at a storm is difficult at times."
Mother Nature is helping out this year, but city crews are ready to plow when a storm hits.
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