COLUMBIA - The winter season is more than halfway done and Mid-Missouri is far from meeting the City of Columbia's snow removal budget.
The city prepares for forecasts with freezing rain and snow by spreading salt on roads and sending out snow plows to clear the snow. On Feb. 1, 2011, Columbia was hit with 17.5 inches of snow and the cost of snow removal was over the set budget.
"We just never know if we are going to have a big snow year or a year that has been like this one, so far," said Columbia public works information specialist Steven Sapp.
The city's snow removal budget for this year is almost $500,000 dollars. The budget money is used for materials, staffing, utilities and contracts.
"We have spread salt a couple of times and we have done some pre-treating of roads a couple of times," said Sapp.
Last year the city took a community survey to see where they would like the extra money to go.
"If we remain under budget this year, those funds will stay in street maintenance. We will look at street repairs based on the safety factors," said Sapp.
They then try to match up the needs with the budgeted amount left over.
"I don't have exact budget figures for what we have spent now, but suffice to say, we haven't come anywhere near what our budgeted amount is for this year," said Sapp.
Sapp said the city is still making decisions on which roads will receive maintenance if the weather holds.