City administration can't predict the weather.
But it's hoping for help from Mother Nature so that $4 million over-budget in the forecast by year's end doesn't come true.
"If we get a decent fall season for winter control we won't see the type of expenditure we had last year," city manager Tim Commisso said Monday night during a variance report.
"That should help us."
Legal, insurance and retirement costs have also hit the budget, along with a $650,000 dip in building permits. Administration has found nearly $3 million through deferrals, hiring freezes and some cost cutting, otherwise it says the unfavourable variance would be up to $7.19 million.
Commisso said the $4 million is a worst-case scenario for the city. It can be covered through the city's rate stabilization reserve fund, which is currently holds more than $5 million. Coun. Rebecca Johnson worried that revenues for the city will also be hit.
"It's not easy times," she said.
Another report is coming to council in August.