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City Disputes Sun-Times Snow Removal Budget Report

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 7, 2010 3:00PM

Photo by meryddian.

With today's snowpocalyse, Chicagoans are already expressing concern about a Sun-Times report that says the city has already spent 40 percent of its yearly snow removal budget. But the city insists that's not true as the budget runs from January 1 to December 31. The $6.6 million spent in December on snow removal comes out of the '09 budget, not the 2010 budget.

That $6.6 million number for December is still down from $8.2 million the city spent last December in nine major "snow events" (we've only had eight this year). Daley's newly-appointed Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne chalks the savings up to newly-deployed technology in the city's snow removal system. “Increased use of technology" including ground sensors and street cameras around the city have "allowed us … to better time, coordinate and, when necessary, redirect the deployment of our workers and equipment to areas hit the hardest, as well as continue to be more strategic in deciding when, where and in what quantities to put down salt,” Streets and San spokesman Matt Smith told the S-T. “We used 38,194 fewer tons of salt this December. At an average cost of $38.60-per-ton of salt, that equals $1.4 million salt savings,” Smith said.