Snowstorms of February White Out State and Local Budgets

With another snow of epic proportions on the way, February of 2010 will be one for the record books and government pocketbooks.  State and local roads crews have been working around the clock, even though budgets can’t support the efforts.  According to an analysis of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s budget, the state already exceeded their FY 2010 snow removal budget by $9 Million and underestimated revenues from the Transportation Trust Fund.  The state has spent over $50 Million on snow events thus far and has many unmet needs that have not been adequately addressed in the budget, according to the analysis.

The Cumberland Times reported on the affect of the weekend snowstorm on Allegany and Garrett County roads budgets.

Snow removal budgets in Allegany and Garrett counties are meaningless at this point, roads supervisors say. “The budget has crumbled. We still haven’t calculated all of the most recent numbers, but it’s crumbled,” Allegany County Roads Division Chief Jim Lashley said Monday. “We might as well just tear it up and throw it out.”

Anne Arundel reported 248  pieces of equipment were on the roads.  According to  the Baltimore Sun,  Montgomery Executive Isiah Leggett said the storm is the most difficult, prolonged problem he’s encountered in his 32 years in county government. According to the Frederick News Post, the county had over 100 crew members working to clear roads over the weekend.

In Prince George’s County, as reported in the Gazette:

As of Dec. 25, the county had already spent the $2.6 million it budgeted for snow removal for the fiscal year that ends in June. Hubbard said Monday that although she could not confirm how much additional money the county has spent on snow removal since December, the department has spent close to an additional $2 million on salt.

“We’re doing what we need to do, we’ll provide the services,” Hubbard said. “It’s up to the County Council and the county executive on how to make the budget hold up for the later part of the fiscal year. They know we have to.”

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