Hard winter weather hitting residents -- and city budgets - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hard winter weather hitting residents -- and city budgets

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - This winter we've had bitter cold, nasty winds -- and don't forget the snow.

"I've been here for almost 10 years, and I think this is the most hard winter I have experienced here in Iowa -- and I don't know why," said Manuel Galvez, who lives in North Liberty.

You may be thinking the same thing -- and public works officials in Cedar Rapids say you're right.

"We've had nearly the same amount of snow events or ice events for a whole year, and we're still at only the 60 percent point of the year," said Craig Hanson, Public Works Maintenance Manager.

City crews had to work three out of the four weekends in January. They also were out New Year's Day. Weekends and holidays can cost the city a lot of money.

"We've been out doing overtime," said Hanson. "Our overtime is right on track or slightly above average."

City officials tell us they only have enough left in the budget to cover two to five more snowstorms before dipping into reserve funds.

If that doesn't cover the costs, then the city may need to spend road-use tax funds to cover the gap.

The good news? There's plenty of salt and sand left.

"It's really that we are being good stewards of the environment, ensuring that we use the appropriate amount of material for each storm," said Hanson.

Cities have the equipment ready to battle the two storms coming in the next week -- storms many Iowans wish would stay away.

"Three or 4 inches?" said Stephanie Goodyear, who lives in Cedar Rapids. "I'm ready for summer."

Iowa City and Dubuque officials also say they have plenty of salt left. Both cities are also within budget -- for now.

Waterloo officials expect to have those numbers Monday.
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