'Whatever happens, we will get out and clear the roads'

'Whatever happens, we will get out and clear the roads'
YAKIMA, Wash. -- It didn't take long to recover from the six inches that fell late Sunday here in Yakima. However, that cleanup cost the city about about $25,000. Remember, Yakima already busted the budget after the major snow storm in January.

Tuesday, those walking were dodging more ice than drivers.

Kristy Bailey remembers snow storms that left more than slick streets and sidewalks.

"Received so much snow in a real short time," said Bailey. "A lot of roofs were collapsing. A lot of damage was done by the snow."

That 1996 storm cost Yakima more than two times its budget.
We end 2012 over-budget too. This time by about $200,000. Yakima pulled money from reserves to cover the costs.

"Went over budget last winter with hired contractors that came out to help us clear the neighborhoods," said Streets and Traffic Director Joe Rosenlund.

Contractors are ready to go again this season, but they've yet to be used. The snow budget sits at about $400,000. That is almost the same as last year. We wanted to know why Yakima didn't budget for more.

We asked, "There is potential in 2013 if we get another bad one that we could run out of money again?"

"Oh yeah," said Rosenlund. "It could happen again this year. We still have a couple more weeks in the year."

Yakima Streets and Traffic Director Joe Rosenlund says the $400,000 budget will cover several small storms -- a normal season. It's up to mother nature to play nice.

"Whatever happens we will get out and clear the roads," said Rosenlund. "And we'll try to find the money to cover it later."

Yakima tells us contractors are usually only called in when snow piles higher than six inches on the city streets. We are not expected to get that much In the next few days.