GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

March 26, 2013

State already in deep hole on snow budget

BOSTON — With top state officials mulling tax options to address long-term transportation financing needs, they face a more immediate problem in the state’s depleted winter road-clearing budget.

According to information compiled for the State House News Service by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, MassDOT this year budgeted $45.5 million for snow and ice removal. However, actual spending on road-clearing was already at $84 million as of March 11 — and that did not include the most recent storm that struck last week.

“That amount is expected to rise as wintry weather continues and we receive deliveries of materials and call on our plow truck vendors ... again!” DOT spokeswoman Sara Lavoie wrote in an emailed response to inquiries about the state snow and ice budget and spending trends.

The most recent storm dumped an added 6 to 10 inches of snow on Cape Ann last Tuesday, and more in other parts of the state. While amounts from different storms have varied across the state, with higher totals in Western Mass., Cape Ann has been hit with roughly four feet of snow since Feb. 1 — with 20-24 inches of that coming in the Feb. 8-9 Blizzard of 2013.

MassDOT is authorized to spend $30 million in addition to its $45.5 million budget without seeking supplemental funding from the Legislature. And since spending has already exceeded that level, department officials say Beacon Hill is aware that a request for additional funding is likely this spring.

“Spring may be here, but we all know that does not necessarily mean the end to plowing and treating roadways. There is significant snow fall in the forecast for tonight into tomorrow,” Lavoie said.

According to MassDOT, state spending on snow and ice removal in recent years breaks down as follows: fiscal 2007, $41.7 million; fiscal 2008, $104 million; fiscal 2009, $127.5 million; fiscal 2010, $69.7 million; fiscal 2011, $106 million; and fiscal 2012, $35 million.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament