CRANSTON, R.I. - It's been an above average year for snowfall: 14.5 inches above average at TF Green so far.
All that snow costs money to move, and that's putting a strain on city and town budgets.
Tuesday's storm was the one that pushed some cities over their budgets for the year. One of those cities is Cranston, whose budget this year was $750,000.
Mayor Allan Fung says “Coming into it, we only had a few thousand dollars left, so this last storm really put us over. We're probably about $150,000 over now.”
So, what happens when the city goes over its budget?
Fung says, “When that happens, we tighten our belts. We ask other departments to curtail any spending or watch the spending unless there's an absolute need for the rest of the way. And we try to make that up.”
The Mayor tells us if it's absolutely necessary, Cranston has a $20,000,000 rainy day fund it can pull from.
Fung says, “But, we try to avoid it. We have not had to go into the rainy day fund during any of my prior years during my administration for snow, and we're trying to keep it that way.”
The mayor says the city will find the money in the budget to clear snow from its 300 miles of roads, plus school sidewalks.
Fung says, “We're going to make sure those roads are plowed. We'll do what's needed for our residents.”
Cranston is not alone. Johnston and New Bedford say they have also gone over their snow removal budgets. Providence, on the other hand, says they have 15% of their budget left, and they don't expect to need more than that.