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Surplus snow budget, parking revenue sought for Calgary roads, streets upgrades

Leftover money that’s budgeted for Calgary’s snow and ice should go to address issues caused by snow and ice, according to a city councillor.

Plus, parking revenue could go to upgrades around where people are parking.

Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong has two notices of motion before Executive Committee for vetting this week before final debate at a future Calgary city council meeting.

Right now, Demong said any money leftover in the city’s snow and ice control (SNIC) budget goes into a reserve and then potentially a city savings account. This notice of motion calls for city administration to review the potential for those surpluses to be reallocated directly to city roads for street repairs.

“I’m simply suggesting that instead of going back to that savings account for us to be redistributed at a budget, once again, is for that surplus to actually go back to roads in order to fix potholes, to fix any other type of infrastructure that has a deleterious effect on the roads that snow and ice actually creates,” he said.

In the 2021/2022 Snow and Ice Control Annual Report, the city said there was $13 million in the SNIC reserve fund.

City of Calgary Snow and Ice Control Report / CITY OF CALGARY

In some cases, any surplus could be dedicated to this area, should city councillors determine that’s how it should be spent. Demong said, however, that’s not always the case.

“It may end up going to that work, or it may end up going to a completely different location,” he said.

“All I’m saying is that this money has been dedicated for this process, let’s make sure it stays in that process.”

Motions coincide with city admin reports

Demong said the SNIC motion comes in conjunction with a regular review of the city’s snow and ice control program.  Likewise, his other motion, is in line with the city’s review of ongoing work to integrate the Calgary Parking Authority.

The Financial Returns Policies contained in the Calgary Parking Policies are already being brought to committee this year.

The parking motion would allocate portions of the city’s on-street parking revenue to street improvement like streetlight upgrades and lifecycle replacements.

Again, Demong wants revenue that’s generated in a certain business unit to go back into upgrades for that area.

“For example, the pedestrian realm where you’re parking should be a nice enough place that you feel comfortable parking there,” he said.

“You should feel comfortable walking down the street; maybe the sidewalk should be fixed, maybe the lighting should be fixed.”

Demong is looking for options on parking to come with the planned reports later in 2023.

The snow and ice control motion is asking for a report back in Q2 of 2024. Both motions, if approved at Executive Committee, would need final approval at a full meeting of city council.