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City snow removal budgets in good shape | News

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City snow removal budgets in good shape

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)- After several visits from old man winter this season, city road crews have been busy. THV wanted to know if ice and snow removal is melting away budgets as well.

In North Little Rock, 150 tons of rock salt and sand just arrived at the city's operation facility. North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith said it's a refill for the new year.

"We always anticipate that there will be a certain amount of bad weather and so we budget for overtime and for materials that are going to be necessary on an average year."

Smith said the replenished stock would last the city 8 to 10 days if all 5 of their trucks were running around the clock.

Not a likely scenario, but one Smith said the city builds into their budget knowing the weather can be unpredictable.

"We know some bad weather is coming in we try to rearrange our work schedules, so that we don't have to pay the maximum amount as far as overtime goes."

Both North Little Rock and Little Rock said snow and ice removal isn't a line item in their budgets, but is factored into each city's street maintenance fund.

Smith said mild winters leave more money for repairs or improvements.

"If we have great weather there's an opportunity for us to do other projects or to add on to our reserve."

Smith also said that one thing working in the city's favor is last month's snow removal was part of the 2013 budget.

He said unless something drastic happens, the city will have plenty of funds to get through any more wintry precipitation in the new year.

"It would have to be a catastrophic event for us. We try to keep 10 percent of our annual budget in reserve, which is about $6 million. It would have to be a pretty big storm for it to deplete our reserves."

The city of North Little Rock said their budget did take a big hit after the Christmas 2012 snow storm.

FEMA declared the city a disaster area making the city eligible for a $100,000 reimbursement that Mayor Smith said has yet to come in.