By Barb McKay
This past winter was a brutal one for most Kincardine residents, but it was a very expensive one for the municipality.
In total, heavy snowfalls and frozen water lines cost Kincardine $1,082,005. CAO and acting public works director Murray Clarke explained the costs to Kincardine council at its meeting last Wednesday. Over the course of the winter, snow removal operations cost $557,126; fuel for snow plows and public works vehicles totalled $232,175; the fleet itself cost $227,704; and dealing with frozen water services cost $65,000.
This year’s winter maintenance costs are approximately $470,000 more than what they were in 2013 and $440,000 more than 2012.
“Our expenditures, not unexpectedly, are up,” Clarke said. “We thought it would be illuminating to point out to council and the community how the winter we had translates into costs.”
Public works responded to 77 reports of frozen water lines, he said, and of those, 72 were on public property so the municipality picked up the tab.
There could be additional costs, Clarke noted. With the wear and tear on public works vehicles, there could be further repair costs.
“As we look forward to next winter we are hopeful we can operate within our budgetary limit,” Clarke said, adding that the department will be closely monitoring its budget throughout the year and will report back to council in the fall.
The department was able to stay within its 2014 operating budget, however only 29 per cent of its winter maintenance budget is available to do the rest of 2014.