City of Roanoke uses every dollar of snow removal budget

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ROANOKE (WSLS)-2016 has only seen a few inches of snow since January which is drastically different from the last few winters. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year for snow clean up and around the same amount of snow removal funding is set every year.

Not much of the money is left unused as city officials are always making sure each dollar is helping with labor, equipment and supplies.

Since snow days are few and far in between around the Roanoke Valley, the public works department is using these snow plows even less. Even though they're saving money used for snow removal they still need to spend dollars on equipment repairs and salt and making sure they're ready for the next big snow event.

"Part of our practice to make sure that we are ready for snow event is to spend dollars as they are needed to ensure that the equipment is ready for the requirements from year to year. We also make sure we have enough salt in the salt barn, " said Amelia Merchant-Director of Management and Budget

Amelia Merchant-Director of Management and Budget says the city budgeted $228,000 for only snow removal projects for the fiscal year.

But they're already over the set budget by more than $50,000.

"So in the event we have expenses beyond our budget amounts our city manager has a contingency fund that takes care of what's needed for any snow events, no matter how many we have the fiscal year," said Merchant.

Merchant says the contingency fund is set at $1.4 million dollars. Last year the city of Roanoke spent more than $490,000 in snow removal expenses.