Bad timing may be partly to blame for a bloated increase in the cost of snow removal operations in Peoria.
Public Works reports spending $1.9 million for pushing snow and ice off of the streets this winter. Part of that figure includes a 261% increase in overtime payouts. That hike certainly has a lot to do with the near-record snowfall the area has seen this season, but when the snow fell also played a major role.
"A lot of these storms have been coming in during the weekend. That's always tough on the budget," said Streets Manager David Haste. "We go on 12 hour shifts to help with the overtime, but when we get into the weekend, we can't help that at all."
While the total cost is significant, there's not a lot Public Works can do amid the second-snowiest winter on record.
"We have to be out there. There's no way around it," Haste said.
Peoria has seen 49.3 inches of snow this winter, which is nearly double the seasonal average. The only season with a higher snowfall total is 2010-11, when Peoria got 52.5 inches of the white stuff.