Simplified: The Sioux Falls Highways and Streets Department is set to get up to $7 million in extra funds this year, if the City Council gives final approval to a pair of proposals advanced Tuesday.

Why it matters

  • Streets Operation Manager Dustin Hansen said the street department is expected to run out of the money in its existing $10.3 million budget for winter by the end of September. An extra $5 million supplement will fund expenses for the rest of the year.
  • The department is also asking for the option to spend up to an additional $2 million if needed on street maintenance and snow removal for the rest of the year.
  • Part of the need for additional funds is increasing costs due to inflation, Hansen said, but one of the biggest factors is the amount of snow received last winter and the additional snow removal costs that resulted.
"It got to where it was so much (snow) where we were actually taking up lane space," Hansen said. "That’s what really impacted our budget most of all. We had to pick up that snow, and hire contractors to haul that snow to snow dump sites."

Tell me more about budget impacts

The cost of equipment is also increasing in the city. The city will be paying more than double what it normally does to lease motor graders – vehicles used for snow removal.

  • Part of the increase is the city adding seven additional motor graders to the fleet, but all told, the contract is going from about $1 million per year to $2.4 million, Hansen said.

The snowy weather impacts were also felt in the spring.

  • The street department had to use a lot of overtime to get potholes filled once the weather warmed up in order to ensure there was still time to complete street projects that can only happen in the summer.

What happens next?

The City Council will have a final vote on both supplemental funding measures on Tuesday, Aug. 15.