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Winter Crushes Snow-Removal Budgets In NY, NJ

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) -- After four storms in less than five weeks, city and state agencies from New York to New Jersey said they were out of money, Kathryn Brown reports.

New York City sets aside $38 million a year for snow removal, but the Bloomberg Administration admits they spent more than that digging out of the post-Christmas blizzard alone. They went into the red just five days into winter.


WCBS 880's Paul Murnane on the New York City snow budget


WCBS 880's Monica Miller on the New Jersey snow budget

For its part, the MTA reportedly spent around $30 million cleaning up after that storm, leaving little wiggle room to deal with the snow that followed.

Days after that first storm, Bloomberg tried to strike an optimistic tone. "In the grand scheme of thing there's money in the budget and we've not used most of the monies over the last few years because the snow has been somewhat less. That doesn't mean we have extra money."

In New Jersey, state officials said they've also blown through their entire budget of $20 million, scrambling to borrow money internally to temporarily cover the rest of the season.

In the weather-blitzing weeks since the first budget-busting storm, and with the threat of yet another one now looming, all agencies are straining at the seams.

However, after harsh criticism against almost everyone for their handling of the first storm of the season, what no one can afford is to blow it again.

Regardless of how little money there is, city and state leaders said their policy is longstanding and non-negotiable: they will clean it up and find the money later.

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