Boston Will Spend $50 Million Clearing Snow for Season, Mayor Reveals

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Boston’s snow removal bill for the season is expected to total $50 million, Mayor Marty Walsh said during a March 11 appearance on WBZ’s NightSide with Dan Rea.

“We’re probably at about $45 million that we’ve paid on snow removal, probably going to head toward $50 million,” Walsh said. That’s up from a February estimate of $30 million; the city had only budgeted about $18 million.

Boston has already seen historic snowfall this year, and more snow is expected this season. The city is only two inches short of the city’s all-time record, 107.9 inches. That was set in the winter of 1995-1996.

“We’ve taken 30,000 truckloads of snow off the street; we’ve melted over 50,000 tons of snow,” Walsh said. “We’ve plowed 263,000 miles of roadway.” That 263,000 miles exceeds the distance from Earth to the moon even when the moon is at its farthest point in its elliptical cycle (252,088 miles).

All told, according to Walsh, Boston has cleared approximately a billion cubic feet of snow.

Despite the high costs of snow removal this year, Walsh said he hopes the city has learned some valuable lessons about how to deal with snowfall in the future. “Some of those ideas that we’ve learned we’ll be able to use, and hopefully save money next year as far as snow removal goes,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the state House approved a spending bill to cover additional costs of snow and ice removal, also in the amount of $50 million. Thus far, Massachusetts has spent about $129 million clearing state highways, according to the state’s former highway director, Frank DePaola. He told CBS Boston that some snow removal contractors have gone without pay since the middle of February, and that the $107 million originally budgeted for the task is long gone.

And, of course, these estimates don’t take into account spending by private businesses or homeowners on clearing snow from their properties.

“If residents are renting or even own a home, then they’re responsible for keeping the outside area of their home safe for others to use,” said Hayley Katzenberger, marketing assistant at Chapel Valley landscape company. “Homeowners should be prepared and have supplies as well as keep an eye on the weather channel and local news to make sure they’re prepared enough ahead of time and they are able to maintain the snow.”

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