$1.6M more sought for snow removal; Costs exceed $4M budget.

AuthorKotsopoulos, Nick

Byline: Nick Kotsopoulos

WORCESTER -- City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. is seeking authorization from the City Council to over-spend the city's $4 million snow removal budget for this fiscal year, by up to an additional $1.6 million.

Paul J. Moosey, commissioner of public works and parks, said such authorization would enable the city to process current invoices -- money owed to private contractors for use of their equipment as allow for anticipated future snow removal costs to be met.

Mr. Augustus said state law allows municipalities to over-spend their snow removal budgets, without the need for mid-year budget transfers to replenish the account, as is the case with all other budgetary accounts.

However, such snow-related expenditures must be covered by the end of the fiscal year through the transfer of money from other sources.

If the total over-expenditure figure cannot be met, then any remaining deficit must be carried over into the next fiscal year, and offset against that year's municipal budget.

But the with a number of cities and towns facing extraordinary snow removal budget shortfalls this year, Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed that municipalities be allowed to amortize any fiscal 2015 shortfall over two years, fiscal 2016 and 2017.

The one-time extension was included in a $392 million supplemental budget bill the governor filed on Feb. 27 that is now before the House Ways and Means Committee.

The city manager's request for authorization to over-spend the snow

removal budget will be taken up by the City Council Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Mr. Augustus said, his administration is working with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Association to file for emergency assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He said the city's initial damage assessment of $1.1 million has been filed with...

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