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Cities and towns thankful for light winter to help budgets

by: Jim Morelli Updated:

QUINCY, Mass. - Cities and towns across the state getting ready to do something rare this winter - spend money out of their snow budgets.

The mild, relatively snowless season has left some communities with a veritable windfall of cash. Boston budgeted $22-million for snow removal this winter and roughly half that money is still left.

“We were lucky this year. We didn't have a lot of snow, at least not what was last year. So we're in good shape,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

So far, Boston has seen about 26 inches of snow this winter, about 30 percent less than the normal 40 inches and less than a quarter of the 108 inches that fell last winter.

Unspent portions of snow removal budgets can then be used for other things a town might need. In Randolph, the leftover cash will be used to pay for last winter.

The town still owes $375,000 for snow removal in 2015. The mild winter this year will be a big help towards paying down that debt. 

“In the snow and ice budget we'll probably have anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 surplus if tomorrow's snow is the only snow we get,” Randolph Town Manager David Murphy said.

Murphy said he knows he's not the boss in that department. 

“We've had a historically bad winter. We've had a great winter. Typically you hope for what the normal winter has been and plan accordingly. But you never know what Mother Nature has in store,” he said.