Is the City of Madison busting its budget on snow plows?

By: Michael Stevens Email
By: Michael Stevens Email

Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 --- 6:35 p.m.

Madison --- You can't drive down the street without seeing, one, two, or even more plows on any given commute. So how is the city doing with cash when it's March and the snow keeps on falling?

A winter that's not backing down, and for Chris Kelley with Madison Streets, it's a season that's turned into a numbers game.

"We budgeted for six major plows at five and a half inches for the money. Our normal plow is about $300,000," said Kelley.

So far, in 2014 Kelley's crew has plowed all 1,700 miles of the city's streets for those major snow events five times.

"Where the issue is, we have been out all the time, with crews but that's smaller events versus larger events," said Kelley.

It's the multiple one to three inch snowfalls like Tuesday that are adding up. Still because those smaller events cost less to clear, budgets are looking good.

"So really we have enough money for three more plows," said Kelley.

With a total budget around $6.5 million a winter, the city has spent just above half that. But for Kelley and his crews, the never ending winter is taking its toll.

"They've worked every weekend, since December 2nd, all but one," said Kelley.

Once the temperatures warm up, it's not over for the streets division. That's when the clean-up and pot hole repairs begin.

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