CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Winter ends today in the eyes of the West Virginia Department of Highways, whose budget for snow removal and ice control is projected through the end of March.

Given this year’s heavy snowfall and extended freezes, the program was well over budget.

“We’re about $12.7 million in the hole,” said Department of Transportation Business manager Keith Chapman.

Chapman said it’s often difficult to budget accurately on the snow and ice removal because the weather can vary so drastically in West Virginia from year to year. This year however, the agency was able to find the extra money to make up the difference within its own budget with revenues above estimates for the fiscal year.

“So far this fiscal year, which stated in July, we’re up almost $21 million above estimate,” said Chapman. “The majority of that is from motor fuel tax we’re up 11 million and privileged tax we’re up 10 million.”

The privilege tax is applied to new-vehicle purchases. Chapman said the excess revenues happen occasionally, but not nearly as often as the snow and ice budget going over projections.

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  • Taylor Colllins

    I love that the D.O.H is always in the hole!!! Its always something like "we are over budget" or "were unable to fix these pot holes due to low budget this year" therefore, we will raise every tax in the country.

  • northforkfisher

    I can't understand how when we have a mild winter, and we budget the same where is the extra money and or materials are. If we have extra salt, then why are we not stockpiling. Then the next year order the same amount to build a stockpile, and put the money into a winter snow removal account. The problem with that is they would rob it like everything else without repayment.

    • Bitmapped

      There are practical limits to how much salt you can stockpile. If you don't have space in the barns to protect it, the salt will melt away.

      DOH has no shortage of needs. It's not like the money is lost if it isn't spent on salt in a given year. It just goes towards paving or other work.

      • northforkfisher

        The thing is they never have money for repairs. Most of the sheds are never full when completely stock. We can always waste money than build extra space.

  • northforkfisher

    I like the part of owning a car as privileged. Here in WV it's a requirement, since everything is usually 20 to 30 miles away depending on where you live.
    Time to get rid of that tax the horse and buggy days are gone.

  • zero tolerance

    Bottom Line:

    Poor Planning

  • Dustin

    When we have had mild winters, I have asked the local DOH when are you going to fix our road it is in horrible condition. I received the same response "we have no money the winter broke us". Where does all the money go then? Our taxes, lottery money is supposed to go towards roads. Seems a shame they can't figure there own budgets out and they want to stick there noses in our business. Never trust a person who comes up to you and says I am from the government and I am here to help.

    • Bitmapped

      Gas tax money and privilege tax money from purchasing cars goes to roads. Except in rare cases, lottery revenues and general revenue does not.

  • sam

    yep, always funny that they can find "extra" money when they need it. No in house raises unless you smooch the doh commisioners @ass.