SUDBURY – Looking outside in Sudbury this Halloween, you'd be forgiven for expecting Santa instead of trick-or-treaters.
The City of Greater Sudbury says not to worry, as snow removal teams have been preparing for winter all year long.
"Seems that a bit of climate change is starting to realize, so we're seeing more significant weather events… more severe events and more frequent precipitation events. So as that becomes the norm, our budget gets adjusted to reflect that the average effects have changed," explained Tony Cecutti, City of Greater Sudbury.
In recent years, the city has consistently gone over budget for winter maintenance, with the latest number projecting an overrun of nearly $5 million.
Councillor Bill Leduc sits on the operations committee and has concerns about snow removal spending.
"Well with the weather that we're currently seeing, this is unfortunate this time of year. I do realize that this is going to eat into our budget once again this year," said Leduc.
The early blast of winter comes ahead of the city's official transition of seasons.
Many are still working on activities including leisure services or summer construction, with November 1 as their transition date.
While the snowfall can be costly for the city, Cecutti says a single event shouldn't have a big impact on the bottom line.
One single event we can manage quite well. When you get like you saw in February, when it's virtually relentless every day, then that will have an impact on our bottom line," he explained.
Cecutti says the city has reached out to its partner contractors, ensuring they are prepared should the snow accumulate significantly overnight.
On this wintery Halloween, he's also urging caution to drivers on the road.