City snow-clearing budget already in the hole

Some city councillors are expressing concerns after word on Tuesday that Ottawa's snow-clearing budget for 2017 is already running a $10-million deficit.

The city's manager of budgets, Cyril Rogers, told the Finance and Economic Development Committee that there were some large snowfalls in January and February that eclipsed current forecasts.

But Councillor Diane Deans notes the city has fallen short an average of ten-million dollar a year in snow clearing funds over the last five years.

"If you just look back at the five-year rolling average, we still seem to be under-budgeting in this area, and it sounds like we're off to a not-so-great start in 2017 as well," Deans said.

"Is there a point when we're going to look at changing our forecasts?" she asked.

But city officials said forecasting how much snow we'll get - and when it will come down - is an inexact science.

They note that, if we have a good spring and fall this year, the deficit could disappear.