Storm delivers blow to Prince George's budget
UPDATE: Prince George's Department of Transportation and Public Works spokeswoman Susan Hubbard has since corrected earlier figures provided about the snow removal budget. She now says that the county's budget for this winter was $1.9 million, and that about $2.6 million was spent. She said about $600,000 was spent on outside contractors.
ORIGINAL POST: We're still waiting on final numbers, but Prince George's officials said Tuesday that the recent massive snow storm used up all the money the county had budgeted for snow removal this winter, and then some. That means if the area gets hit again, it will have to dip into other budget areas to fund the cleanup.
"We pretty much used what we had budgeted in FY10 because this is such a big storm," said John Erzen, spokesman for County Executive Jack B. Johnson. "Going forward, there's a lot of things that we'll look to do. ...We're already in a cost savings mode. ... We could go through the rest of this winter and not have another snow storm, or we could go through the rest of the winter and have three more storms. ... That's all up in the air."
Erzen said one solution to deal with additional snow is to shift money out of the storm water management budget. He said not clearing away snow from the roads can clog drainage systems and cause flooding, so money from that budget would be a related expense.
Susan Hubbard, spokeswoman for the county's Department of Transportation and Public Works, said the costs of the storm exceeded the $2.6 million the county had budgeted for snow removal this winter, but she could not yet say by how much. She said the money went to plowing and salting roads, fuel costs and pay for drivers who logged a lot of overtime hours.
Hubbard said based on weather projections, she expects the area to get hit again.
"We would anticipate that we'd have some more severe storms and it's just something we're gonna have to deal with," Hubbard said.
Meanwhile, the Post's Aaron Davis reported that the state didn't make out much better, and that the State Highway Administration has already spent at least $1 million more than it had budgeted for snow removal for the entire winter.
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