City Exceeds Snow Budget

This winter's heavy snowfall is wreaking havoc on the Cambridge city budget, as cleanup costs have far surpassed expenses from previous years.

This season's 72 inches of snow may end up costing the city about $300,000 this year for supplies, overtime pay and funds for independent contractors, said David R. Holland, principal budget analyst for the Cambridge Budget Department.

Excluding overtime pay, only $172,000 had been initially allotted this year for snow and ice removal, said both Holland and Cambridge City Councillor Alice K. Wolf.

But last weekend's blizzard alone cost the city a total of $225,000, including $35,000 in overtime pay, said Commissioner of Public Works David A. Haley.

Last year's light snow accumulation of 20 inches cost the city only $119,750 including overtime pay, Holland said.

This year, however, overtime pay alone has cost the city about $100,000, Haley said.

Cambridge and other Massachusetts cities may receive federal help in carrying the burden of paying for the storm damage.

Gov. William F. Weld '66 sent a letter on Monday to President Clinton requesting snow removal assistance in areas devastated by the weekend storm.

Weld asked that Clinton provide federal funds to reimburse communities for 75 percent of documented snow removal costs, according to a press release from Weld's press office.

Commissioner of Public Works for Cambridge David A. Haley said yesterday he had not heard of a response from Clinton or Weld.

The Harvard Facilities Maintenance Office did not return repeated phone calls, and is was unclear by how much Harvard has exceeded its snow removal budget