Wild Winter Takes Big Bite Out Of Long Island Snow Budgets
NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Some towns on Long Island have already blown their snow budgets and the season is only halfway over.
Crews have been out plowing, shoveling, fixing potholes, and spreading salt for weeks as the winter swallows local snow removal budgets, TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported.
“We’re definitely over budget. We usually budget half a million dollars. We are already over budget 80-thousand with the last storm. We just got another storm and we’re halfway through February,” Tom Stay, Babylon DPW, explained.
Last year, some Brookhaven residents were buried behind unplowed streets for a week. Now, nearly all of the town’s 33,000 miles of road are plowed but keeping crews working around the clock had blown out the year’s snow budget.
“We’ve gone through $2.6-million, really entirely in January,” Brookhaven Highway Superintendent, Daniel Losquadro said.
Losquadro said that the latest storms have forced the town to dip into surplus funds to pay bills but ultimately taxpayers will have to shore up those funds.
“At the end of the season the town board will look at what the situation is and then replenish that surplus,” Losquadro said.
Winter weary residents have mixed feelings about paying to restore the surplus funds.
“As a taxpayer I don’t like to hear that, but we have to do what’s necessary to keep the streets safe,” Coram resident Mark Elkund said.
“I think it’s a little much to keep asking us for more and more money,” Selden resident Anthony Rosario said, “We already pay a lot of money for the schools as it is.”
Smithtown has also run through its snow budget and Huntington is nearly there. Towns will have to consider borrowing, cutting, and then hoping that state lawmakers approve significant disaster aid when they meet in Albany to create a budget by April 1.
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