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Somerville storm costs pile up to nearly $1m

Posted by Matt Byrne  February 8, 2011 10:04 AM

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The City of Somerville has spent nearly $1 million cleaning up winter storms so far, according to a recent tally, almost double its allotted snow budget this year.

The total cost, measured by officials yesterday at $951,491.59, has piled up through five snow emergencies declared by the city.

More than a third of that amount -- just shy of $360,000 -- was spent on salt, sand, and ice-melt, according to the city.

More than 70 inches have fallen on the region since December.

Payroll expenses, including overtime, account for $384,000 of the cost, according to the city figures. Plowing by contractors cost more than $147,000.

An additional $59,500 was spent on parts and repairs to maintain the city fleet of trucks and plows.

Parking restrictions in place during the emergencies resulted in 808 city-ordered tows, said Jackie Rossetti, a spokeswoman for the city.

If officials collect the full fee on each tow, citizens stand to pay the city more than $800,000 so far this winter.

An exception in state law allows cities and towns to go into deficit spending for winter weather response, with the difference rolled into the next year's municipal budget.

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