Tag Archives: plows

Get a closer look at the city’s snow clearing budget


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 5, 10:00 a.m.

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) spends millions of dollars on salt each year to keep the city’s drivers from slipping and sliding.

Millions more are spent in overtime for the men and women who clear the city’s roads.

The DSNY’s current budget for the 2013-2014 snow season is $57.3 million, and is spent on salt, vehicle and equipment parts, maintenance, cleaning, plows and motor vehicle fuel, according to a department spokesperson.

The 2011-2012 budget was $51.7 million. Each year’s budget is calculated by averaging the snow budget of the past five years, excluding the most recent year.

“I don’t have the most up-to-date figures, but I can say we’re within the parameters of what’s budgeted. We’ll see how it goes from here.”  Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday.

DSNY Commissioner John Doherty, in an interview with Good Day New York Wednesday morning, said the department would “no doubt” exceed its budget this year. The budget, however, doesn’t dictate how DSNY operates, he added.

Every snow season, the DSNY starts with approximately 250,000 tons of rock salt, the department spokesperson said. This year it cost the city about $13.4 million.

But with three major snowfalls already this season, that amount is gone, according to the spokesperson. The DSNY, however, “can replenish the supply at any time.”

Though the amount is likely to go up, more salt has been used in past years, according to city statistics.

For fiscal year 2011, 61.5 inches of snow fell, and 353,769 tons of salt was utilized.

During that period, $62.4 million was spent on snow overtime. When deployed to clear snow and ice, DNSY employees are on special 12-hour shifts.

Last season, 24 inches of snow fell and 183,597 tons of salt were utilized, with over $16 million in overtime, according to a DSNY performance report.

 

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Storm slams city, dumps almost a foot of snow


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The second major storm of the month hit the city Tuesday leaving almost a foot of snow and bringing a blast of bitter cold that will last for several days.

Snowfall escalated around rush hour Tuesday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, but “the men and women of sanitation who work for this city intensified their efforts” to clear the streets.

“This storm was challenging in its size and intensity but the people who work for the City of New York rose to the occasion,” he said as he updated the city Wednesday morning.

In some areas of the city, snow accumulated to 11.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Although the snow has tapered, freezing temperatures are still expected throughout the night. Temperature highs will remain in the teens, but feel as low as below zero with the wind chill.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday and warned motorists to drive slowly, monitor weather and traffic, use major streets or highways, and have the name and number of at least one local towing service.

Alternate side parking is suspended Wednesday and Thursday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect. To track the progress of Department of Sanitation clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Trash and recycling pickups are also suspended for Wednesday.

Express subway service was restored Wednesday morning and buses were running at 80 to 90 percent of normal levels, de Blasio said. Those levels, he said, would increase throughout the day.

Fastrack work on the E,F,M,R Queens Blvd. Line has been canceled for the remainder of the week to free up personnel for snow fighting and cleanup after the storm.

On Wednesday, Metro-North is operating at 80 to 85 percent of its normal weekday service, with some trains combined and some delays possible based on the condition of track and power systems. The LIRR is operating on a weekend schedule.

 

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