Winnipeg snow clearing has gone over budget for last decade: report

The City of Winnipeg has exceeded its snow clearing budget every year for the past decade.

This is according to the city’s Annual Report on Snow Clearing and Ice Control, which shows Winnipeg traditionally budgets its snow clearing activities using an assumption of a “low scenario” of snowfall. However, every year for the last 10 years, actual costs have exceeded the adopted budget which has led to a deficit.

This includes 2022 when Winnipeg budgeted $34.7 million, with the actual snow clearing costs coming in over $87 million – a difference of more than $52 million.

The 2023/24 winter season was in fact a lower-than-average snow and ice control season; however, it still exceeded the budget by $4 million.

On average, Winnipeg has gone nearly $13 million over budget for the past decade on snow clearing costs.

“It just looks like we don’t know what we’re doing when we’re consistently under budget for snow,” said Coun. Jeff Browaty, who also chairs the finance committee. “I think it makes us look bad personally.”

The report explains that a 10-year rolling average is used to determine the range of potential snow control costs, but suggests a better practice would be to budget for average costs and employ a reserve.

The full report can be found online.

– With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks.

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