Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Snow Removal Projected To Cost City $11.5 Million

The city bill for digging out from three massive winter storms is currently projected at $11.5 million, according to a city financial document that came out yesterday.

Snow Removal Projected To Cost City $11.5 Million

The city bill for digging out from three massive winter storms is currently projected at $11.5 million, according to a city financial document that came out yesterday.

Budget Director Stephen Agostini stressed that the number is not final, because the city is still finishing clean-up after the third storm, which hit last week. The city did not have any money in the current budget for snow. But Agostini noted that even in years when the city did set aside money for snow, it was a much smaller amount.

The massively expensive winter couldn’t come at a worse time for the city, already struggling with a grim budget situation. Snow clean-up costs have contributed to an increase in the expected budget deficit for the current financial year, which is now at $48.6 million. Another key reason for the jump in the deficit – which stood at $31 million in the fall – was lower than expected sales tax revenues.

“The snow clearly is not helping,” Agostini said. “And we lost another $8 million in sales tax. The economy and pretty tepid job growth has started to cut into consumer spending.”

Agostini said the deficit would be resolved in next year’s budget, which is expected to be released on March 4. The total budget deficit for the 2011 fiscal year, starting July 1, is between $125 and $150 million, Agostini said. That number includes this year's deficit.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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