Snow costs piling up for Connecticut’s cities as snow continues

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HARTFORD – The cost of snow preparation and removal is piling up for some cities.

“I think at this point–I think that budget is exhausted at this point. Three snow storms back to back. We usually budget for about three,” Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said on the Chaz and AJ radio show on Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for the mayor said that the city budgets for 10 winter snow storms but did not refute the fact the funds were mostly gone.

Mayor Segarra’s political opponent, Luke Bronin, used the Chaz and AJ interview as ammunition.

“Yesterday, on the radio, the mayor said that the city budgets for three storms which in New England, is just not responsible. It’s not reasonable,” said Bronin, a former aid to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Other cities are facing the budget crunch. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said his city has spent all of it’s roughly $550,000 snow budget. He said next week the city will begin to move money from a contingency fund to the Department of Public Works.

“We are 28 snow events into this year and last year we had 29 and that was a bad winter. So, we’re a little bit nervous about it but we’ll be okay,” O’Leary said.

New Haven also is “bumping up against its budget” a spokesperson said. It has spent roughly $300,000 on snow this year and may also need to pull from a surplus in the public works budget.

On Tuesday, Connecticut Department of Transportation Spokesperson Kevin Nursick said the state has spent around $29 million of its $32 million dollar budget. Malloy said lack of funds will not jeopardize the safety of roads or snow removal.

“We do not limit our spending on public safety on the highways by how much money has been appropriated. We spend the amount of money and then we figure out where we’re going to cut the money from to make sure that public safety is first and foremost,” Malloy said.