Winter Buries County Snow Plowing Budget

Extreme weather has taken an extreme toll on Renfrew County’s winter road budget.  

Cleaning up from the brutal storms has put them 800 thousand dollars over their 2-million dollar yearly budget. 

Madawaska Valley Mayor Kim Love was one of several county councillors to address the issue at a meeting of the Operations Committee on Tuesday.

Love says it’s clear County Council will have to rethink the way they plan for this spending so that things like maintenance don’t take a back seat.

"There's a certain amount of work that has to be done", Love told reporters.

"We want to ensure that work is done, so that the roads are in best condition as possible, for as long as possible.  So we do have to do something to adjust how we look at winter maintenance", Love said.

In the meantime, the Operations Committee decided to use a reserve fund of just over $300,000 to make up for some of the shortfall, and to re-think the budget amount for 2020.

"Winters are changing; things are getting more difficult -- tempeature shifts from minus 30 to 2 degrees in 24 hours", Love added.

"That changes conditions significantly, and our snow plow operators are amazing.  They're out there dealing with that, trying to make sure everyone stays safe.  But we have to make sure that we have the funds to keep that going".

County Council meets again on March 27 to discuss this and other resolutions approved at the committee level.