City of Petersburg not letting tight budget interfere with storm preps

PETERSBURG, Va (WRIC) — With close to a foot of snow in the forecast for the City of Petersburg and surrounding areas, winter weather planning officials said Friday they have already started working around the clock.

Despite battling a budget crisis of more than $18 million, city officials say they are well-prepared to deal the upcoming snow storm.

“We will run our pickup trucks or anything one ton or less in tandems,” the city’s interim public works director, Daniel Harrison, explained. “There will be between six and ten crews.”

768778Harrison said staffing numbers are down due to the city’s budget crisis.

“Personnel-wise, I am probably down about 35 or 40 percent,” he said. “The 10 percent pay cut hurt them, so they sought employment elsewhere.”

In spite of the city’s money woes, workers are prepared to keep those who have to be out on the roads this weekend safe.

“Hospital Boulevard is definitely a priority, to make sure the hospital remains open for emergencies operations, obviously, and Wagner Road, ” Harrison said.

Officials say you’ll also see VDOT crews clearing other priority roads like Crater, Wythe, and Washington as a part of a temporary assistance program.

“It provides us resources, with the cuts and shortfall, resources became an issue not only money so they are kind of like a contractor to us, ” said Interim Public Works Director, Daniel Harrison.

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Click here to view a copy of the city’s winter weather plan.

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