Snow cleanup costs mount for Philadelphia

January 28, 2011 4:21:21 PM PST
Philadelphia's treasury is already stressed, and each snowstorm eats into it even more.

So far, this winter's snow total stands about 18 inches higher than last year's at this time. That's making the cost of Philadelphia's snow removal efforts climb and climb.

"It's been very difficult, events are coming -- sometimes one and two a week -- so it is a lot of strain on our resources," Carlena Tolson, Philadelphia's streets commissioner, told Action News.

Philadelphia has spent about $6 million to date for snow cleanup, with more than 50 days of winter left to go.

That compares to a grand total of $18 million for all of the 2010-2011 winter's cleanup. That amount does not include snow totals from Wednesday and Thursday's snowfalls, which won't be available until next week.

City Hall says it has now plowed and salted 99% of the city streets, but rare conditions created by the double storm has created an underlying hard pack on the less busy streets. That problem must be attacked again and again with more plowing and salt.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's office told Action News that starting Friday, people and business will be fined for not clearing, salting and cindering sidewalks.