Yakima setting aside more money for 2018 snow budget
YAKIMA, Wash. - The city says they will be prepared if we see a winter as bad as last year.
For winter 2018, Yakima has set aside $325,000 for snow removal, $175,000 of that for materials such as De-icer and salt and $150,000 for contractors.
The city uses contractors to clear residential streets while the city takes care of more-traveled roads.
Yakima's Communications and Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler said last year the city only budgeted $10,000 for contractors and they went way over budget.
"The idea behind making the budget for contractors a little bit more realistic than it's been in the past years, it's just from a planning standpoint," Beehler said.
He said the budget is not set in stone and if the city goes over budget in one area, they can take from another such as reserves or projects.
"If we don't have the funding available within our budget for snow removal, we're still going to remove snow and we end up utilizing other resources within our budget," he said.
However, with not much snowfall so far, when will the city's snow plan take action?
KIMA's Chief Forecaster Mike McCabe said we will probably have to wait until January to see any real snowfall.
"Long range models going into January and February we're going into a La Nina winter, which generally means a winter that is wetter than normal and colder than normal which generally means that yeah we'll start to see some snowfall," he said.
McCabe said this winter shouldn't be as bad as last year but we should be prepared.
Beehler said the city budgets snow removal based on past winters. He said they look at historical trends and try to look at weather forecasts to be prepared.
Beehler said the city doesn't start plowing until there is at least 3 inches of snow on the ground so they don't waste resources. He said they send out alerts to the public when they think they will deploy plows so everyone can be aware.