Baltimore County’s snow removal budget nearly spent | WYPR

Baltimore County’s snow removal budget nearly spent

Mar 2, 2017

Trini Lambert prepared a Baltimore County truck for snow removal duty last winter. He hasn't had to do that so much this year.
Credit John Lee

You don’t need a weather man to know that we haven’t gotten much snow this year. But despite that, Baltimore County has spent much of the money it set aside for snow removal. And here’s why.

There have been six snow falls in the county so far this year. None of them amounted to much, an inch of snow or less. But Lauren Watley, with Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works, said they still have to call out the county crews and contractors if snow is in the forecast.

"So whether the weather happens or not we’re still paying the employees and contractors," Watley said.

The county set aside $6 million for storm-related costs this year. Watley said they have spent half that, $3 million on snow removal. And the county spent an additional $2 million filling up two new reserve salt barns with salt.

So while there’s been virtually no snow, the county has almost spent its storm budget.

"Yes, we still have a surplus but we’re almost there," Watley said.

And who knows? We could still get some snow. There are spring storms to worry about as well. But if the county spends its entire storm budget, it will find money elsewhere to cover its costs.

If there is any money left over, it goes back into the county’s rainy day fund.