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Portland snow removal cleans out budget

Portland snow removal cleans out budget
Posted March 5th, 2014 @ 12:21pm by Brad Ford

The early February storm that coated Portland in snow and ice for five days will lead to an estimated $740,000 in extra costs to the Portland Bureau of Transportation for storm response and cleanup, according to figures released today.

Crews worked 24 hours a day in 12-hour shifts during the storm and the overtime for that response accounted for the majority of the additional costs, or about $560,000.   Materials and repairs accounted for the remainder.

The bureau’s $500,000 winter storm contingency budget will cover most of those costs, and managers will strive to identify savings and efficiencies within the bureau’s operational budget to cover the rest. 

“This winter’s storm brought out the worst in terms of travel and safety impacts and the best in terms of city crews’ response, which was to immediately turn to a 24-hour-a-day schedule to clear streets of snow and address the hazards of ice,” said PBOT  Executive Director of Finance and Business Operations Alissa Maher.  “Now our job is to work hard to create savings where possible to cover the additional storm costs.”

Bureau managers will have until the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2014 to identify savings to cover those additional expenses.

While the storm is over, gravel cleanup continues. The majority of those costs are covered by the bureau’s base operations budget and overtime costs have been accounted for in the estimate released today. Crews also treated city streets with deicer on the days leading up to the storm, a service that was covered under the base operating budget.

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