Ambrosino urges Patience as City Copes with more Snowfall

-By Seth Daniel

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It’s not most years that one would find enough snow on Revere Beach to make a full-sized snowman, but this year - anything goes. Frosty here was spotted late last week on the Beach near the St. George’s. He appeared to be taking up arms - or at least a wiffle ball bat - against any new snow coming from above. Obviously, his efforts were defeated this week.

With a huge storm on the doorstep (literally on the doorstep) this week, more than a few Revere residents arestruggling to figure out where to put the snow and how to get around it.

On Endicott Avenue, MBTA buses barrel down the narrow street with seemingly little more than a hair’s length leeway.

The same is true for the hills of Beachmont, where one resident said he knew what it felt like to be in a luge after driving down Bellingham Avenue.

On the side streets of Revere Street, there are standoffs when two vehicles come from opposite directions as there just isn’t enough room, and children have to walk on the street to get to most schools.

Add those issues to the fact that there is nowhere to put the excessive snow, and nearly no way to keep street parking spaces clear – and that was the situation before more snow arrived.

“I wish I had some good advice for people or some good news, but I don’t,” said Mayor Tom Ambrosino. “I have no good solutions. The City is in the same boat trying to figure out where we’re putting our snow. You just have to do the best you can. That’s what the City’s doing, just the best we can. It does lead to a lot of frustrated people out there. I just ask them to be patient.”

Last weekend, the City spent a tidy sum in overtime payments to Department of Public Works (DPW) employees in order to remove large piles of snow off of Broadway and Shirley Avenue.

That snow is being stored in a local parking lot for no fee.

However, the mayor said there isn’t any way they can extend those cleanup efforts.

“That’s an extremely expensive exercise,” said the mayor. “Given our existing deficits already, that’s not something we’re likely to repeat unless absolutely necessary. It’s just a difficult winter coming at a very financially inopportune time. There is going to be a big deficit in snow removal when the year is over.”

Ambrosino said that on Monday the City was probably around $500,000 over budget already. The budget for snow removal this year was $300,000.

“If we’ve spent over a million dollars, it wouldn’t surprise me,” he said.

By law, Cities and Towns are able to put off snow deficits for one year, meaning the City could just push the problem off until the summer time.

However, Ambrosino said the City would already be in the red by $3 million at the start of the next fiscal year, and adding more to that deficit will only complicate the City’s tough financial situation.

“It remains to be seen if we’ll carry it over,” he said. “There might be some legislative relief because this problem exists all over the state.”

In the meantime, the mayor just asked residents to hang in there and to deal with the snow as best they can.

“We’ve had winters with more snow, but it seems like there was always a break between storms,” he said. “This snow is not melting and it seems like every single Wednesday there is another storm. It’s a tough situation out there and it seems like it’s only getting worse over the next few weeks.”

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