Record snowfall squeezes DelDOT Budget

    The snowstorms that broke records in Delaware mean DelDOT will have to tighten up it’s budget beyond the cuts it already presented to the joint finance committee this week.

    The snowstorms that broke records in Delaware mean DelDOT will have to tighten up it’s budget beyond the cuts it already presented to the joint finance committee this week.

    “It was certainly a historical event where we get snow of that magnitude so close together. It wrapped us up completely and everyone in the department was thinking of nothing else for close to ten days,” Williams said.

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    The grand total for snow removal in Delaware this year has hit $13 million and far surpasses what is normally budgeted for storm cleanup.

    DelDOT sets aside roughly $3.5 million dollars annually for cleanup from all storm events, including snow and floods.

    December’s snowstorm cost $4 million for snow removal in December.  Then February’s back-to-back storms that blanketed 30 inches of snow over Delaware delivered a price tag of $9 million.

    The costs account for salt, sand, fuel for equipment, employee salaries, along with the neighborhood reimbursement program.

    DelDOT is already facing budget cuts such as stopping paper EZ Pass statements as it does it’s part to curb state government costs.  Now it’ll also have to make up millions thanks to Mother Nature.

    “It’ll just be reductions in things we would normally do throughout the year, if it means we don’t buy a piece of equipment we normally do or could afford,” DelDOT spokesman Mike Williams said. “It’s in our maintenance and capital spending area, not our construction area of spending,” Williams added.

    Williams says DelDOT has always had to ability to move money around to make sure there’s always enough money available to clean roads as needed.

    “There are finance people that sweat when they hear the word snow, there are p.r. people who sweat when they hear the word snow,” Williams said. “Then there are maintenance people who either sweat or cheer when they hear the word snow.  They sweat when they know they’ll have to work a lot, but cheer when they’re going to get some overtime.”

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