Chicago snow removal costs are $4.5M over budget - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Chicago snow removal costs are $4.5M over budget

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Let's hope we don't get any more major snow storms in Chicago. City coffers may not be able to withstand another hit, since the money set aside for this season's snow removal is already gone.

The city of Chicago has spent $25 million to clear the streets of heavy, slushy snow this winter. That's about $4.5 million dollars over budget. The extra money is coming from a $6 million motor fuel tax surplus. Once Mayor Emanuel's reserve money is gone, he'll have to ask City Council to approve additional costs.

Chicago Office of Budget and Management spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said the streets "will remain plowed and passable," adding "we will not let the city grind to a halt."

The Chicago area is currently in the middle of the third snowiest winter in city history, and it looks like we have two more months of snow to go. This winter, more than 62 inches of snow has fallen at O'Hare International Airport. About 23 inches of that has fallen since New Year's Eve.

Other major metropolitan areas across the country, especially along the East Coast, are dealing with the same thing. They just didn't budget for this much snow.

The city spent $20.5 million on snow removal efforts last year and had the same amount budgeted for 2014. But in 2013, only 20 inches of snow fell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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