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City goes over snow removal budget thanks to historic snowfall in late January

Historic snowfall in late January 2021 put Lincoln over it's snow removal budget
Historic snowfall in late January 2021 put Lincoln over it's snow removal budget(10/11 NOW)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - With 14 inches of snow falling in one day late January, the city is over its winter operations budget by more than $1 million.

The city set a snow removal budget of $5.3 million dollars to pay for salt, brine, equipment and snow removal staffing for all of 2020.

But with significantly more snow than expected, they city spent $6.5 million. Most of that was spent on paying city and contract plow drivers to remove the 14 inches of snow that fell during one of Lincoln’s most intense snow storms.

“We had several days in a row with our plows out in full force,” Liz Elliott, director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities said. “This wasn’t just a one and done storm, every street required full removal over several days.”

Eliott said going over budget isn’t a huge deal and they’ll make up for it in other ways in the transportation budget by the end of the fiscal year in August.

2020 was the first year the city used contract plow drivers to remove snow on residential streets. She said this isn’t why they went over budget, that if they paid city plowers to do the same job it would have cost the same amount but took longer to accomplish.

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