Snow removal busting local budgets

In coverage likely consistent with that across the state, the Carroll County Times reports that county and municipal budgets are in great distress over the need to fund snow removal for recent, and anticipated weather conditions.

Carroll County

Saturday’s snowstorm cost the county an estimated $145,000 to clean up, according to Ted Zaleski, director of Management and Budget.

The county has spent approximately 90 percent of the $1.7 million it budgeted for snow removal this fiscal year, Zaleski wrote in an e-mail.

If the county exhausts what it has budgeted, it will fall back on its reserve for contingencies. However, the fund only has $500,000 remaining because the county committed $4 million from it to offset projected revenue shortfalls.

“With some luck on the weather, the reserve for contingencies will cover us. If we get a lot of bad weather the next step would be looking at all of the budgets to see what funding could be made available to cover additional costs,” Zaleski wrote in an e-mail.

Given the deep state cuts, eliminating nearly all of the Highway User Revenues for county and municipal governments in FY 2010 (and proposed for FY 2011 and 2012), the ability of local governments to redirect other transportation funds toward this effort is severely limited.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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