Winter weather pushing local budgets in the red

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Monday’s snowfall in Kentuckiana has marked the 12th snow event of the season.

Removing snow from the roadways isn’t very cheap and the city has already maxed out the snow budget for the fiscal year.

“Snow removal is an essential service like the police and fire protection,” Harold Adams of Public Works said. “The good news is that we have 5 months left on the fiscal year so we’ve got time to do that.”

The allotted budget for Public Works was $1.4 million but before the snow, the city has spent close to $1.5 million.

The majority of the money has gone to salt so far spending an estimated $1.2 million.

Public Works says Mayor Fischer has assured he will find money to keep the snow removal paid for through the rest of winter.

“I don’t know the details of where it is coming from, I just know it is coming,” Adams said.

A spokesperson for Mayor Fischer could not speculate on exactly where that money will come from but say the program will be covered.

Another agency feeling the winter blues are homeless shelters.

The city allocated more than $19,000 in this fiscal year to cover the white flag programs at four area shelters.

The money ran out in December and the Coalition for the Homeless says shelters have to find other ways to make sure they can provide their services.

“I think most of them do private fundraising which is how the majority of their budget works regardless. The shelters run on local community money from people that just care and want to do something about homelessness,” Natalie Harris with the Coalition for the Homeless said.

Winter isn’t going away anytime soon and there’s still two more months to go.

Finding ways to pay for it proves to be a big challenge.

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