Last winter was a record setting winter for snow and a difficult spring for hot holes in the City of St. Cloud.  St. Cloud Public Services Director Tracy Hodel indicated last winter they had a lot of overtime costs and pretreatment chemical costs.  She says that was followed up by a challenging pot hole season which required 7,000 tons of hot mix to address the pot hole problem.  The previous year 1,000 tons of hot mix was used according to Hodel.

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These unexpected costs pushed their budget into the red but Hodel explains the city has money in reserve to handle this type of thing.  She says the cost of fuel was less than they had budgeted which helped reduce the strain on the budget.  Hodel also says they had some savings in the chip sealing, which is preventative road work that is done between years 3 and 5 of the life a road.

Last year at this time St. Cloud had more than 4 inches of snow on the ground and high temperatures in the teens.  Hodel explains we are off to a much better start with not needing to pretreat roads or plow roads yet.  She indicates with less snowy November and December that would also help with the budget.

The water levels at the hydro facility are dealing with low flows.  Hodel says the water levels aren't as severe as they were in 2001 but they are below normal.  She says more snow would certainly help the situation.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Tracy Hodel it is available below.



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