Winter Puts South Burlington "In The Red"

By FOX44/ABC22 News

Published 02/17 2014 10:40PM

Updated 02/17 2014 11:47PM

This winter's harsh weather has put some Vermont cities over budget.  South Burlington had $85,000 to spend on winter maintenance this year.  The city met that limit in December.

"It's a risk because you don't know how winter is going to be, "says South Burlington's Department of Public Works Director Justin Rabidoux.  "Particularly with the ice storm in December, that put us right at budget point, so we expended our entire winter's budget by Christmas."

Three specific areas are currently facing deficits:
-Liquid De-Icer
-Overtime pay

South Burlington is over-budget by $11,410.75 for salt and $3,950.88 for liquid de-icer. 

"During December's ice storm, our employees put in around the clock service for 40 hours," says Rabidoux.  "Just last week during that snow storm, they put in 35 hours."

The Department of Public Works has $2.5 million in their overall fund.  In order to maintain it, Rabidoux says cuts to other areas are possible.  Certain projects this spring could be pushed back to take place next fiscal year.  Also, other maintenance needs, such as new tires for D.P.W. vehicles would have to wait.

"The city has never told us to curb spending on winter maintenance," says Rabidoux.  "We have plenty of other areas where spending can be deferred."

Rabidoux says keeping roads clean and safe during the winter months is most important.

"We provide winter maintenance with one goal in mind, public safety," says Rabidoux.  "We don't provide winter maintenance by keeping one eye on our budget and one eye on how safe the roads are."

This fiscal year ends in June, which Rabidoux says is plenty of time to decide where to curb spending for spring. 


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