Sandy plowed through its road salt budget in February

Apr 3, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:16 pm

Snowplow driver shortage in Salt Lake County. Photo: Canva...

Snowplow driver shortage in Salt Lake County. Photo: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — Sandy plowed through its road salt budget two months ago while the snow kept falling and city plow drivers racked up overtime pay. 

Sandy City Mayor Monica Zoltanski joined Dave & Dujanovic in February to say the city had burned through its road salt budget of $126,000.

With 5 inches of new snow overnight and 17 plow drivers on city streets now, Zoltanski was back on the show Monday (April 3) to say the city was now $250,000 over budget for road salt. 

“Mother Nature is pouring it on in Sandy,” she said, ” and we are doing everything we can just to keep up with her.”

Other budget busters in Sandy

The mayor said the city is now $60,000 over budget in overtime pay for plow drivers. She said that number does not include vehicle maintenance, fuel, tires and snow blades.

“This is going to have a huge impact on our city budget, but of course, we’re Sandy, we’re going to make it work,” Zoltanski said. “We are putting all of our resources into keeping our streets safe. That’s the number one priority.”

“This isn’t something you can send out to your residents and say ‘Hey, we just had a crazy year, we’re gonna have to charge everyone an extra 50 bucks.’ Do you have that ability or do you have to just pull from other parts of the budget?” Dave asked.

The city of Sandy budgets on an annual basis. It does not have a special street fund it can draw from, the mayor said.

“We’re just pulling from projects that we can differ on, and we put it toward essentials,” Zoltanski said.

She added filling potholes caused by the snow and ice has also added to the city’s financial woes.

No sleep for drivers

The trucks drivers are also conducting the city’s curbside bulk-waste pickup while plows are clearing streets of snow.

“So they’re doing both big projects simultaneously,” Zoltanski said. “Our drivers are not getting any sleep in Sandy.”

“Did you have any money left over from previous years, mayor, where you didn’t blow through all of the snow removal budget?” Debbie asked.

Zoltanski said the city will not go into bankruptcy because it is now a quarter of a million dollars over budget.

“We did try to accumulate our savings. Anytime we run a surplus, we put that into a capital reserve. So we do have a savings account for anomaly years and high impact years,” the mayor said. ” When you manage your budget carefully, you are able to adjust and be nimble from season to season and year to year.”

Hoping for a gradual warm-up

“Do you use salt or brine?” Dave asked.

“We use salt. We use a combination of red salts and blue salts. They call it Smurf salt,” Zoltanski said.

She added the city is now preparing for spring flooding, which is between three and five weeks away.

“We are monitoring. We have crews monitoring, clearing ditches and drainage canals and working to make sure that we don’t have flooding as the weather warms — if it ever does.”

“I think it will be interesting to see what cities do because if this is happening in Sandy, Debbie, of course this is happening all across the state,” Dave said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Sandy plowed through its road salt budget in February