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The snow and ice keep coming, and that means more money out of the city budget.
Yesterday I wrote that the city spent $8.2 million on snow and ice removal in December alone. Today Streets and San released additional figures for January:
* Yesterday the city launched its sixth snow "program," or mobilization, of the month.
* The first five cost about $7 million, or an average of about $1.4 million apiece. That means the city has spent more than $15 million clearing away snow and ice so far this season; the snow removal budget for all of 2009 is $20 million.
* The biggest expense: salt, at $3.9 million. Labor cost $1.7 million and equipment and fuel $1.4 million.
* From Streets and San spokesman Matt Smith: "We can replenish our salt supply as necessary and we are paying $40 a ton for salt vs the $140 per ton average that everyone else is paying because Chicago negotiated a two-year contract that froze our salt prices at last year's prices."
* Prior to last night, Chicago had received about 42 inches of snow this season compared with 24 at this time last year, Smith said. "This has been one of the harshest winters in recent history and means that our trucks have been out there plowing and salting on a nearly continuous basis."
Here's what the city spent on snow removal in recent years:
2003 $12 million
2004 $15 million
2005 $21 million
2007 $33 million
27 32 million