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How Snow Clean Up Costs Affects City

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--This year's winter weather is our top story covering the corridor tonight.

Eastern Iowa streets already have seen larger than normal piles of snow this winter.

With more on the way the cost of clearing those streets might increase as well.

When it comes to their winter weather budget, Cedar Rapids city officials say they are at a higher point than normal but they're not that concerned yet.

For city maintenance crews, plowing the streets during or after a snow storm is a necessity and when that storm comes on a holiday or weekend.

"We've had to call in additional staff on overtime compared to a regular work day where we have them around the clock available, said Cedar Rapids Maintenance Manager Craig Hanson.

There's also the timing of the storms which have come in the middle of the night, causing crews to work from second shift into third shift which can take a toll on the city's budget.

"Our overtime is higher than it would have been and is much higher than what it was two winters ago at this point where we only had less than an inch of snow, Hanson said.

Still Hanson says things aren't that bad, yet.

He says while there's no way of estimating the exact costs *until the end of the season, they are well within budget.

"As we get further on, if we start running out of money there are reserves for that exact reason, he said.

The city isn't alone when it comes to budgeting and planning for winter.

We spoke with some who say they are already stocking up.

"We kind of already have soup stash and that kind of stuff to go ahead and get ready for everything, said Robyn Vera who says shes ready for winter,

Iowa City public works are also seeing the same thing.

They say so far, they've used more salt than they typically do for this time of the year.

Thats because small storms accompanied with very frigid temperatures still require the same amount of salt as heavier storms.
 
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