CHEYENNE, Wyo - After a long stretch of nice weather, including above normal temperatures, old man winter returned to the region yesterday, dumping over 6 inches of snow in Cheyenne, and over a foot across areas to the north.
While winter weather usually affects travel, it also impacts the city and county budgets. The Cheyenne Public Works Department's "Snow Budget" is really broken up into three separate budgets: Snow Overtime, which is used to pay overtime to workers who are needed to remove snow; Ice Removal and Salt, and the Emergency Snow Removal Budget, which is used when there are not enough city resources available and an outside contractor is needed. Right now, the City of Cheyenne has used only 30% of the Overtime and Ice/Salt budget, which a city official says is normal for this time of year. The Emergency budget has not been used.
In Wheatland, things are different. The Street Department has a $300,500 budget which includes everything, such as fixing pot holes and other roadway projects. With so much snow that has occurred across the Wheatland area so far this year, 65% of the budget has already been used! That's around $195,325 used and it's not even March. One of the city officials said that with more snow likely to occur in the coming months, some planned projects could be in jeopardy. He also said the city counsel would have to discuss the options if that time comes.
So, when you see those snow plows and salt trucks at work, that is the "Snow Budget" at work, and keeping the roads clear and you safe.