News / Calgary

Mild winter saved Calgary millions on snow clearing

A lack of the white stuff kept Calgary in the black, as work comes in under budget

Calgary didn't quite receive 60 centimetres of snow last winter.

Metro File

Calgary didn't quite receive 60 centimetres of snow last winter.

For the second winter in a row, Calgary was able to provide snow clearing under budget – but they certainly had help from Mother Nature.

According to city documents, Calgary saw 58.2 centimetres of snow through the 2015-2016 winter, which was just under half the average snowfall over the past five years.

Given the mild winter, Calgary spent $30.8 million on snow clearing services, or about $6 million less than the previous winter.

Coun. Shane Keating, chair of the city’s Transportation and Transit Committee, said the savings will be put away for a rainy – or rather a snowy day.

“It goes into a reserve fund for when we have a bad winter. And then they dip into that reserve fund if they go over budget.”

The city now has $8.89 million in the Snow and Ice Control Reserve Fund at the ready for the next bad winter.

It wasn’t just cash saved. The savings in materials were also impressive. The city used 30 per cent less road salt than the five-year average – a reduction of 19,769 tonnes off the average.

Maintenance crews also reduced their use of calcium chloride brine by 57 per cent over the five-year average. The brine is applied as an anti-icing agent and the city plans to expand its use after a successful pilot.

No parking bans were called throughout the entire winter. This was the second winter in a row no parking bans were required.

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