Snowstorm plows through City of Eugene's snow removal budget

EUGENE, Ore. - The 8 inches of snow that fell Friday burned through the City of Eugene's snow removal budget - and then some.

The City of Eugene had budgeted $60,000 to pay for smow removal. As of Monday, the city had spend $75,000 - and counting. The city will dip into the operations budget to make up the difference.

"We started the day probably about $75,000 in total expenditures for staff, overtime, equipment and materials," said Eric Jones with Public Works said.

That's included putting 500 cubic yards of sand on roads.

The City of Springfield worked 24/7 over the weekend to put down more than 100 tons of sand on Springfield streets. Crews also provided assistance to local hospitals by providing patient transports, in partnership with the Lane County Sheriff's Office.

"We used a van and and 3 SUVs - 24-7 basis, and that's continuing - to transport any patients that need assistance," said Niel Laudati with the City of Springfield.

Sidewalks, however, are the responsibility of individual property owners. A Eugene city ordinance requires property owners to keep sidewalks clear of hazards, including snow and ice. There isn't a "sidewalk police," however: enforcement is complaint driven, the city said.

Eugene Public Works said crews made some headway on clearing packed snow and ice from priority routes on Monday.

But most roadways remain covered with packed snow and ice, and Tuesday morning's commute will probably be a repeat of Monday morning's conditions.

"Even though these aren't desirable conditions, many streets in Eugene are drivable, even those with packed snow and ice," Jones said. "Safe driving tips include going slow, leaving plenty of stopping distance, and taking it easy on turns. Chains are advised, particularly on vehicles being driven in the south hills. An emergency parking ban on priority routes remains in effect and will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis."