BEND, OR -- The city of Bend and surrounding communities are back under a winter weather advisory, Wednesday, with more snow and ice expected. All the while, Bend officials work to tally up the total cost of the last storm.
Last year's lack of snow allowed the city to push budget savings to this year, to supplement the $1.7 million winter budget. But, Bend Streets and Operations Director David Abbas says the snow removal line item may be short. "Within that $1.7 million, I have a line item in my budget that's about $500,000 for sanding rock, mag-chloride, [and] calling out the contractors, if we need to." He tells KBND News, "The contractor call-out, we ran them last week for essentially four days - early Monday morning through late Thursday evening - and I'll bet we are in the $300,000-$350,000 range." And, that's not counting Bend's 32 plow drivers who worked around the clock during the same time to put down chemical de-icer before the snows fell, and then clear streets once the storm began.
Abbas says it'll still be a few weeks before he can calculate the total cost of this winter's operations, "It's going to be close and we're not done with winter yet; it's snowing as we speak. So, [we're] looking at those numbers we got from the contractors, and seeing where that's at budget-wise, and whether we need to dip into some reserves and contingencies, or not." Wednesday, Abbas plans to ask the City Council to approve an additional $200,000 for the emergency purchase of more chemical de-icer.
Photo: NW Bend, February 25, 2019