After some late April snowfall graced parts of the country yesterday, Canadians everywhere are hoping they can finally put away their shovels and be done with winter maintenance. That's especially the case in Ottawa, where winter maintenance has cost the city over $80 million this year alone.
According to recent financial reports from the city of Ottawa, their budget for winter maintenance in 2019 (from January to December 2019) was around $70.8 million dollars. With all the crazy weather they got this winter, they used all that and then $16.2 million more on top of that as well, running a major deficit in their budget.
That means that so far this year, the City of Ottawa has spent around $87 million on winter maintenance and the year isn't even over yet. The budget is meant to be for the calendar year, so if Ottawa gets hit with some winter weather this November or December their deficit in the winter maintenance budget will only grow.
This isn't the first time the city has blown through its winter budget. The past few years they have run a deficit in this department, in fact, in 2018 they also overspent but only by $7.2 million.
This year's major deficit comes after a brutal winter in Ottawa. It was so bad there that earlier this year Narcity reported that Ottawa actually won the unofficial award for worst winter in all of Canada in 2018-2019.
The unofficial award came from Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips. He said, "if I was awarding the gold medal for winter misery I think it would go to Ottawa." He said that was because they dealt with ice storms, freezing rain, immense amounts of snow, and extreme cold temperatures.
Now as spring comes, the City of Ottawa is facing new challenges with rainfall and melting snow leading to major flooding along the Ottawa River. While floods result in their own financial challenges as well, Ottawa's Mayor has said that the priority is the emergency response and they will worry about the invoices later.