Winter road maintenance budget predicted to cost city nearly $13 million

The City of Regina is preparing for another winter season with a bigger budget and a handful of new initiatives.

Regina city administration is anticipating a $1.88 million increase in winter road maintenance in the 2024 budget, which comes after the previous two years have exceeded budgets by 12 million dollars.

In 2022, the annual operating expenditure budget was $8.71 million, with actual expenditures at $16.96 million.

In 2023, the annual operating expenditure budget is $8.55 million. The year-to-date expenditures have exceeded the allotted budget. The administration is forecasting total expenses to be $12.94 million.

The City points to seven extreme weather events in the 2022 and 2023 seasons as the reasons for the high expenditures.

With another year of running a deficit, the administration expects to offset it through a salary lag and the General Fund Reserve. Usually, the City would dip into its Winter Maintenance Reserve balance, but that fund was depleted to fund the deficit in 2022.

With another winter season coming up, the City is raising its winter road maintenance budget to around $13 million.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Cheryl Stadnichuck said clearing the winter roads is essential for Regina residents.

“It’s a high priority for residents, and I think it’s worth noting that we have had some pretty usual winters. Some very heavy snow and more frequent snow events. That has just made the demand from residents a little bit higher.”

A report presented to the executive committee outlines the increase and several new initiatives, some of which will be implemented as early as November 1.

The initiatives include reducing snow ridges on sidewalks, reducing blocked front driveways, rut mitigation, minimizing ridges in residential areas, increasing alley plowing, and clearing storm drains.

The report has been tabled until November 29, when supplementary material is provided.

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