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No snow in C.O. is good news for some

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Jan 06 2014 09:17:53 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 06 2014 09:26:34 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Brittany Weiner explains why the lack of snow is good news for public works departments.

BEND, Ore. -

Dry roads are leaving snow plows behind garage doors at public works departments across Central Oregon. But the crews aren't just sitting around waiting for snow.

"We have a huge need in backlog on street maintenance," Bend Street Maintenance Division Manager Hardy Hanson said Monday.

Bend Public Works has been sweeping gravel, cleaning sidewalks and trimming trees. In Redmond, they're replacing and fixing street signs.

Both departments have large budgets, but they also have a lot of needs.
So in the rare chance they have money left over...

"The money rolls forward into the next budget year it allows us to take a look at the revenues that we need to be able to get the work done that we need to the next budget year," Redmond Public Works Director Bill Duerden said.

"In a biennial budget. we can carry it over to the next year," he said. "And then, if we're in between biennial budgets, it can go into contingency."

Which could be drawn on for road projects if the city council approves. The council can also vote to move the extra money into another department's budget.

But for now, it's too soon to tell if there will be anything extra left over.

"We can have a dump of snow, and have to call out contractors and residential areas and burn through several thousand dollars very quickly," Duerden said.

ODOT officials said they rarely have the issue of money being left over, because with fewer gas tax dollars coming in due to more fuel-efficient cars, its revenues continue to decline.

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