City's snow costs: $1.35 million
Last week's storm ate up much of Seattle's annual snow-response budget.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The January snowstorm will cost the city of Seattle about $1.35 million, according to the Department of Transportation, which is still totaling expenses.
Street-maintenance director Steve Pratt told the City Council Transportation Committee on Tuesday that crews worked around the clock for almost a full week to keep snow routes — typically the arterials traveled by buses and emergency vehicles — open and the pavement bare and wet.
The city budgeted $2.2 million for all of 2012 for emergency snow response, but the city has an emergency fund of $44.3 million to draw on in case of more snow this year. And any funds spent must be repaid in the following year.
After paralyzing snowstorms in 2008 and November 2010, the city added an anti-icer that freezes at lower temperatures, trained additional drivers to operate snow plows and better coordinated snow-removal efforts with Metro and the Seattle Police Department, Pratt told the Council.
The city generally got good marks from the public for its snow response last week, said Transportation chairman Tom Rasmussen, who asked for public comments on his council Web page. But the cost of last week's storm concerned him.
"We budgeted for one major storm and it's only the third week of January," Rasmussen said.
Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or email@example.com. On Twitter @lthompsontimes.