Despite Large Snowfall Totals, Des Moines Public Works Snow Removal Budget Has Not Melted Away

DES MOINES, IOWA – Thursday, January 28, 2021 – The City of Des Moines was buried by over 10 inches of snow earlier this week, a storm which incurred $335,927 in snow removal costs this week for the Public Works Department.

“It was a large-scale storm, and easily the most expensive of the year,” Deputy Public Works Director Adam Smith said. “Our crews were out plowing from midday Monday for over 48 hours to keep Des Moines’ streets moving.”

So far this snow season, Des Moines has recorded 41.9 inches of snow, which is already 115% of the 10-year average accumulation of 36.5 inches per year. Despite the heavy snowfall totals, Smith says the snow removal budget is in good shape, with 66% of its 2020/2021 snow removal budget remaining.

“The snow has come in fewer, larger snow storms,” Smith said. “The cost isn't that much different between a four inch storm and an eight or 10-inch storm, so it has worked better for our budget to have these larger storms as opposed to more frequent, smaller storms. It's still only January, and we have a lot of winter left, but we feel pretty good about where our snow removal budget is at this point."

Des Moines residents can track plowing progress and stay prepared for winter weather all season long at or by following DSM Public Works on Twitter and Des Moines Public Works on Facebook. Residents may also opt in to receive text alerts by texting DMSNOW to 96000.


Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.