Snow Events Causing Challenges for St. Cloud Public Works Budget
Two large snow events in December, one in January, this week's snow event and a few smaller ones scattered throughout the winter have consequences for the St. Cloud Public Works department budget. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and St. Cloud Public Services Director Tracy Hodel joined me on WJON. Kleis says because the budget is set up annually what happened in December doesn't impact the budget this year but the large amount of hours of overtime for snow plow operators in January and February does affect this year's budget. He says "we make adjustments as we go through".
Kleis indicates if we get a large number of snow events at the end of the year they will need to look into making adjustments to the 2024 budget. He says they have financial reserves they can draw from. Kleis says they aren't going to run out of money to plow streets and indicated this is a public safety issue. He says they wouldn't not blow or remove snow because of a budget issue. Kleis says the more they dip into reserves the less money they will have available in 2024. Hodel says anything beyond 8 hours of work a day would be overtime for city staff and overtime is time and a half.
Hodel indicates that not only are those working in the public works department putting in long hours but so are those working in public utilities and the parks department. All 3 departments are involved in snow removal. She says it is possible they could make adjustments to their summer budget and that they are looking at what they could do there to assist the situation.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Mayor Dave Kleis and Public Services Director Tracy Hodel it is available below.