Local Government and Politics, Weather

North Shore communities have blown through their snow removal budgets

Lynn, Ma. 3-13-18. The Lynnway at 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday. Most people obeyed the Governor and stayed home.
The Lynnway was all but abandoned during the Blizzard of 2018. (Owen O'Rourke)

Winter is not over until next week, but some North Shore communities have exceeded their snow removal budget.

Lynn allocated  $785,162 for snow removal in the 2018 budget.

“We are are at least $114,000 over that right now and the number will grow because it doesn’t include the most recent storms,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee.

On average, City Council President Darren Cyr said, clearing snow has cost the city $2.5 million.

“The new mayor has said he will fund it at the real dollar amount of $2.5 million going forward,” he said. “And that makes sense.”

In Revere, they too are over budget on snow removal.

“We budgeted $450,000 and I’m sure we’ll surpass that,” said Donald Goodwin, Revere’s Public Works superintendent. “We have money for our salaried employees, but we’re $100,000 in the hole for private contractors and that doesn’t include Tuesday’s storm.”

The North Shore has had nearly 57 inches of snow this winter, more than a foot above the region’s average snowfall of 44 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

New England’s third nor’easter in less than two weeks hit eastern Massachusetts Tuesday with as much as two feet of snow in some places.

Goodwin said his department spent nearly $2 million in 2015 and it could be higher this year when all the tallying is done.

John J. McGinn, Marblehead town manager, said they’ve  already exceeded their $100,000 snow budget by $191,000.

“We’ve had years where we’ve stayed within budget, and in 2015 we ran a deficit of about $700,000 in a winter that brought storm after storm,” he said.

Debra Panetta, chairwoman of the Saugus Board of Selectmen, said the city allocated $165,000 for snow removal.

Saugus Town Manager Scott Crabtree said they’ve spent about $400,000 more than the budgeted amount, not including this week’s nor’easter.

“The bills haven’t come in yet for the latest storm, so I’m sure the final snow removal number will be bigger,” he said.

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