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Single storm exhausts Richmond’s entire snow removal budget

Posted at 12:07 AM, Feb 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-26 11:43:39-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Central Virginia has seen just one major snow this winter and that may be a good thing since the City of Richmond exhausted its entire snow removal budget on the storm.

As the mercury climbed to 78 on Saturday, many people out on Brown's Island were enjoying the unusually warm February day.

"It's beautiful out,” Blake Carrey said.

But with weeks to go I until the official start of spring on March 20, some wonder if another late-season winter storm could blow into Central Virginia.

"For some reason, I've been thinking about it, but I hope it doesn't come,” Carrey said.



When a major winter storm on Jan. 7 dumped up to a foot of snow on parts of Central Virginia, many residents said the city's response was favorable.

Gwen Griffin, who lives in the Fan, said she thinks the city did a good job on the storm.

"It was just me waiting for the snow to melt," Griffin said. "I couldn't drive my car for about four days."

For the first time this year, city leaders created a $1 million line item in the budget for snow removal.

But the city spent all of that money on pre-treated roads, hiring contractors and equipment for the storm.

So how will the city handle the next major snow storm -- if there is one -- before spring arrives?

Richmond City Council Vice President Cynthia Newbille said

Richmond City Council Vice President Cynthia Newbille said

"We prepare the best we can and budget dollars for natural occurrences, snowstorms, etc. Inevitably there will be something that will exhaust the dollars,” Richmond City Council Vice President Cynthia Newbille said. "If it is in fact we have another major snowstorm, we would do due diligence. We'd look at reserve for contingency funds. We might look within departments that would be appropriate.

A representative with the mayor's office said the city will do everything needed to provide the same level of service to keep roads safe if there is another snowstorm.

That said, the additional money for more snow removal and cleanup would have to come from somewhere else in the budget.