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Cost of road salting, snow, ice removal, shows pricey winter for Digby

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Annapolis County that calls for 15 to 20 centimetres of snow starting early in the morning.
Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Annapolis County that calls for 15 to 20 centimetres of snow starting early in the morning.

DIGBY, NS - Final numbers are in for salt costs and wages allocated for snow and ice clearing, and confirm this winter was expensive for the Town of Digby.

The town’s Director of Finances Matthew Raymond confirmed the numbers Apr. 7.

The town spent $56,003 on salt this year, which is over the $50,000 salt budget.

$48,095 was allocated for snow and ice removal, which also exceeded the budget of $42,700.

Raymond says while the salt costs do reflect a number exceeding the budget, the snow and ice removal do not.

This is because employees were tasked with removal over other tasks, such as maintenance. The town spent more in this budget, which means it spent less in others.

“We tend to focus more on the salt budget, which is a hard number,” says Raymond.

“Costs for snow and ice removal are more of a fluid concept, since spending more money on this means spending less money somewhere else.”

The overall Public Works budget has not yet been looked at, but Raymond says it is analyzed in a different way from the salt budget.

“We look at long term trends and wages, and never panic when we’re over budget in one section, because it often means we’re under budget in another.”

Before final numbers were in, Raymond and Digby’s Director of Public Works knew March would likely cause costs to be over budget.

“It wasn’t the snow this year that did it. It was the salt,” said McCormick.

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