GRAFTON, Mass. - Grafton's snow-removal budget is now more than $52,000 in the red just a week after a snowstorm dropped more than 2 feet of snow on the region.
The snowstorm was the tipping point for the town's $150,000 snow and ice removal budget, Town Administrator Timothy McInerney told selectmen Tuesday. By state law, communities are allowed to approve deficit spending in that account due to the unpredictability of winter weather.
Grafton, however, may see some federal relief for the costs of the Feb. 8 to 9 snowstorm, McInerney said. Gov. Deval Patrick had declared a state of emergency, which could make Massachusetts communities eligible for FEMA funds.
The snow-removal deficit has become a New England winter tradition. Last year's mild winter kept the account in the black, with costs totaling about $148,000, McInerney said. By comparison, 2011's snowy winter cost more than $400,000.
Costs can quickly add up, McInerney said. In the most recent storm, the gas/diesel fuel that kept the plows running cost $5,000.