LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – From tapping into rainy day funds to putting a hold on salt supplies, there’s no doubt that this winter has been a rough one for cities and counties in the Greater Lafayette area. It may lead to some changes for future winters.
It certainly wasn’t a rare site to see a plow truck moving snow and dropping salt on the streets of Lafayette and West Lafayette this winter. With snow after snow after snow, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said it was overtime pay that really hurt the city.
“We’ve had major snow events for seven straight weekends in a row. That really does take a significant chunk out of your overtime budget,” said Dennis.
Overtime was an issue across the Wabash in Lafayette as well.
But the problems didn’t stop there, both Dennis and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said the salt supply was also an issue.
“We’ve had salt ordered for weeks and weeks that we never got, so that was struggle this year. You know, trying to get the material we needed. We had the money to pay for it, but we just weren’t able to get it delivered,” said Roswarski.
In the event that we have more wicked winters, Roswarski said the city will look to add another salt garage to prevent this issue from happening again.
“If the storms would historically stay like this and getting product delivered becomes an issue, then we’d probably have to look at some increased storage. So, we can order it all early and store more of it than we can store now,” said Roswarski.
Roswarski said the city will also look to add more snow emergency routes. He said getting the cars off the streets really makes a difference for plowing.
This winter has taken quite the hit on the winter budget for both cities. However, both mayors said no future projects are at stake.
“We have money to get through this winter. It’s not going to affect how many roads we are able to pave or anything like that,” said Roswarski.
“We are in a position to where we’re either going to have to look at our rainy day fund or reallocate some revenue in order to compensate for the overtime that our staff has accrued. But again, that’s exactly what those funds are for,” said Dennis.