No snow does not mean big savings for T.O.
With no snow on city streets it appears that Toronto is set to save a lot of money. But costs continue to mount, resulting in only a moderate saving on $62 million annual budget.
Toronto's 673 snowplows sat idle for another day on Tuesday as unseasonably warm temperatures kept snow from flying. City employees spent time starting the heavy machinery, checking to make sure it is still in working order.
"The crews are kind of looking forward to some snow," Myles Currie, manager of road operations said.
A snowfall would get crews and equipment on the roads but it would not mean a large expense. About 70 per cent of Toronto's winter budget goes to private contractors who get paid whether it snows or not.
That leaves only a few places for city managers to find savings.
"The savings are mainly in our salt materials," Currie said.
While winter delays its arrival, city employees do other things such as road maintenance and street sweeping. At the same time, contracted workers sit and wait around the clock for something to do.
"They're like an insurance clause," Currie said. "They're there just in case we need them. They're similar to our firefighters."
Having the contractors on hand means the city can have equipment on roadways within 10 minutes of a snowfall.
But that amounts to expenses for the city. As a result, the city only anticipates a savings of $5 million.
That money will be put into a winter reserve fund.
With a report from CTV's Desmond Brown