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Brutal Winter Sent NYC Sanitation Dept. Snow Budget Into The Red

A snowplow clears snow on East 91st Street on the east side of Manhattan January 22, 2014. (Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A snowplow clears snow on East 91st Street on the east side of Manhattan January 22, 2014. (Photo credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The relentless snow this winter caused the New York City Department of Sanitation to go over budget by $75 million.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the sheer number of storms plowed away the sanitation department’s $57 million snow budget.

The money spent on snow removal could go as high as $132 million, according to outgoing sanitation commissioner John Doherty.

“So you’re always gearing up, you’re stopping your collection operation, you’re getting ready for snow and sometimes you gotta go out and spend a lot of time on snow and we work a lot of weekends between clearing the snow and catching up on our waste collection and recycling collection. So that burned up a lot of the budget,” said Doherty.

In one instance, Doherty noted the department spent a lot of money preparing for a storm forecast to deliver 14 inches. Instead, it dropped a quarter of an inch.

During snowstorms, crews made overtime when they worked 12-hour shifts.

Doherty said while this winter’s been particularly bad for snow, others will bring barely any storms.

“I always told people you don’t manage a snowstorm by the budget. The budget will come after. You do things as efficiently and effectively as you can, but some years it’s gonna be more expensive than others,” he said.

Doherty stayed on as sanitation commissioner for one last winter. He formally announced his resignation, effective at the end of the month, last week.

He has served as commissioner since 2002.

Mayor Bill de Blasio last week appointed Kathryn Garcia to take over as the DSNY commissioner.

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