West Lafayette street department doubles budget

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The harsh winter weather seems to have made an impact on everyone and everything, including the budget of the West Lafayette Street Department.

Street commissioner Dave Downey said the last several months of winter weather has their budget doubled from last year.

“Last year we were at about $125,000 to $136,000 and this year we’re way above $300,000,” said Downey.

From salt and replacing snow plow blades to employee overtime, Downey said it all adds up quickly.

“To keep from hurting other programs, the mayor will have to consider dipping into the rainy day fund, and paying for some of the salt and supplies that we have,” said Downey.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the city plans on asking for an additional appropriation of the rainy day fund at next month’s city council meeting, but the mayor is confident there is more than enough money available to make up for going over budget.

“The rainy day fund has been able to grow because of the mild winters that we’ve had the past several seasons. It’s almost like those savings are being cashed. So, we are going to go ahead and get into those savings, and make sure we’re in a position to rehab some of our equipment to try and deal with some of the damage on the roads,” said Dennis.

As for next year’s budget, Downey said this year’s winter weather won’t be a factor in deciding how much money should be spent.

“I don’t expect any problems next year, but we’ll plan on an average, 22 to 32 inch, snow and we should be fine,” said Downey.

Although Downey isn’t concerned about going over budget next year, he said the rainy day fund will help take care of any added costs.

“When you have big storms, ice storms, wind storms, tornadoes, snow storms, that’s what the rainy day fund is back there for,” said Downey.

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