Streams

City Plows Through Entire Snow Budget

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow plows blasting down Grand Street early Wednesday morning in Williamsburg (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

With two more months of winter to go, the city has already blown its budget for snow removal for the entire season.

More than $38 million was set aside for snow removal this winter, but city officials concede that paying for the post-Christmas blizzard alone will cost that and more.

And that number is just an estimate, said City Hall spokesman.

The final cost of the clean-up is not yet available, and the city is still in the process of tallying in the hopes of garnering Federal Emergency Management funds. Officials have 30 days from the day of the storm to get a final number that may or may not qualify.

Last year, the city spent more than $63 million to keep the roads snow-free. Roughly 58 percent of that went to overtime, according to the budget office. Overall, the Sanitation Department costs more than $2 billion to operate annually.

There have been only two years since 2002 that the city's actual snow removal came in below the budget projection, according to the Independent Budget Office.  That's because the Bloomberg administration, under the city charter, has no discretion on what to budget for snow removal - the number is determined by a formula that averages the actual snow costs in the five previous fiscal years.   

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Comments [1]

Robert Weber from New York

In August 2010 our company submitted a snow removal budget insurance policy to the City of New York.

This policy would have enabled NYC to remove up to 65 inches of snow with their same original budget.

Their decision was to "self Insure" which in reality means either raise taxes or steal money from some other service if the snow removal budget runs dry.

Good decision NYC!!

Jan. 16 2011 12:34 PM

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