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Snowstorm plows through city budget

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 2/18/2016, 7:25 a.m.
The winter storm that dumped 12 inches of snow on Richmond three weeks ago did more than snarl traffic, stall ...
A worker clears a parking lot during the snowstorm that hit the Richmond region three weeks ago.

The winter storm that dumped 12 inches of snow on Richmond three weeks ago did more than snarl traffic, stall mail service and close schools.

The storm also blew at least a $1 million hole in the city budget.

City Hall disclosed this week that plowing, sanding and salt- ing streets in the wake of the storm cost at least $1.75 million in labor and equipment costs.

That’s well above the $700,000 that the Richmond Depart- ment of Public Works budgeted for storm events, according to Sharon North, department spokeswoman.

This funding is not exclusively for snow, she stated in an email to the Free Press.

“The department also uses it for hurricane clean-up, torna- does, etc.,” she stated. “So, basically we had $700,000 for all inclement weather-related events.”

As yet, Selena Cuffee-Glenn, chief administrative officer, has not decided how to handle the deficit in that budget item. “All options are on the table” was her only comment this week.

The situation will grow more troublesome if more snow hits the city before spring arrives. So would any additional weather- related problems that occur between now and June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

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