The area’s active winter weather season came with a cost. In the Town of Leesburg, that totaled $1.2 million.
On Tuesday night as part of their consent agenda, council members approved a supplemental budget appropriation of $933,811 from the fiscal year 2020 unassigned fund balance to cover the costs of snow removal for the current fiscal year.
The budget included $305,000 for snow removal operations, the estimated cost of one, 24-hour snow or ice event for plow trucks and heavy equipment with enough funding to fill the salt dome to one quarter of its 2,000-ton capacity.
But, according to a staff report, this past winter included eight weather events that lasted longer than that, hence the need to add almost $1 million to cover that part of the budget.
The total of $1.2 million in fiscal year 20201 snow removal operations included $117,645 in staff overtime costs; almost $300,000 in bulk salt; $14,773 in bagged salt; $773,403 in contractors; and $35,582 in lodging.
Town Manager Kaj Dentler has acknowledged in recent years that the General Fund’s budget typically does not completely cover the cost of the town’s annual snow removal operations, hence the almost annual need for supplemental appropriations. For the upcoming fiscal year, Dentler found support among the council for increasing the annual snow removal budget to $600,000.
The vote to approve the supplemental budget appropriation passed by a 6-0-1 margin, with Councilman Zach Cummings absent.