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City Snow Removal Usage Well Below Budget

This winter, Guelph experienced unusually mild weather, leading to less frequent mobilization of city snow removal teams. This trend has placed the city in a favorable position, potentially resulting in a surplus in its budget for snow removal by year’s end.¬†

Despite the reduced need for plow-outs, the city still had to tackle icy conditions on sidewalks, roads, and bridges due to occasional freezing temperatures and light rain, rather than significant snowfall. Anticipating a milder winter, the budget for snow removal was slightly decreased to $4.6 million from the previous year’s $4.7 million, along with a substantial reduction in the budget for salt, sand, and other materials used on icy roads to half of the previous year’s allocation.


The city’s spending on these materials dropped to $654,000, included within the overall snow removal budget, reflecting an increase in material costs but a decrease in quantity used.

At this point in the year, about 30% of the snow removal budget has been utilized, in contrast to the typical 45% usage around this time in previous years. However, there’s a possibility that snow removal efforts might still be required in the spring, and snowfall is common in the final months of the year.


The warmer weather has particularly reduced the need for snow removal in the downtown area and bike lanes since January. An early start to street sweeping, about four weeks sooner than usual, is one of the positive outcomes, facilitating an earlier shift in duties for public works crews as the seasons change.

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