It might have seemed like a relatively mild winter, but Leesburg’s snow removal operations paint a different picture.
The Town Council this week approved a budget adjustment to cover a $333,518 shortfall in its projected plowing and road treatment cost. The town spent $591,518 last winter, more than two times over the $258,000 budget. The biggest increase was for snow and ice removal operations at $133,808 over budget and for the season’s supply of road salt, which came in 112,500 more than expected.
The town’s Public Works Department budget included funding for only one snow event covering a 24-hour period. Last winter crews dealt with 10 such storms.
Town Manager Kaj Dentler said the additional allocation is no surprise; in fact, it part of the town’s budgeting strategy. During the last economic downturn, the snow removal budget was one of the places targeted for cuts. Recognizing that the workload varies each winter, the staff retained a baseline budget placeholder, with a plan to settle up the actual costs each spring using unallocated funds.