Now that the Rockford Fire Union has won its arbitration battle with the city...city leaders say they need to make major budget cuts elswhere. That could have a big impact on services...like snow removal.
Many Rockford residents say the City has kept up with snow storms.
"No problems last year, the snow removal, I think it was very well done."
"They all were clear, in a timely manner, for my commute in Loves Park into Rockford and so no issues with that."
But that could change this winter season. Public Works' snow removal budget has aleady been reduced two hundred thousand dollars...and Public Works must now find another 400-thousand in savings.
Streets Superintendant Mark Stockman says big storms will cause residential street clearing delays.
"When storms stretch out over a 24 to 36 hour period, that's when we may see some lag in efficiency on our part this year."
As part of department-wide restructuring, Public Works has consolidated eight divisions down to three. And eliminated positions as staff members retired.
Still, Director Tim Hanson says his department will get the job done.
"We did get a body for every route, we should be in pretty good shape, we should be in about the same shape as we were last year."
But another growing problem is vehicle age.
Public works isn't alone...the fire department buys used fire trucks...but Hanson says he hasn't bought new snow equipment for 6 years.
"They are getting a little older and those streets do beat those vehicles up pretty bad."
City snowplow crews will work like they did last year...but a major storm could cause delays in clearing resiential streets.