Updated Wednesday, Feb. 5, 10:00 a.m.
The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) spends millions of dollars on salt each year to keep the city’s drivers from slipping and sliding.
Millions more are spent in overtime for the men and women who clear the city’s roads.
The DSNY’s current budget for the 2013-2014 snow season is $57.3 million, and is spent on salt, vehicle and equipment parts, maintenance, cleaning, plows and motor vehicle fuel, according to a department spokesperson.
The 2011-2012 budget was $51.7 million. Each year’s budget is calculated by averaging the snow budget of the past five years, excluding the most recent year.
“I don’t have the most up-to-date figures, but I can say we’re within the parameters of what’s budgeted. We’ll see how it goes from here.” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday.
DSNY Commissioner John Doherty, in an interview with Good Day New York Wednesday morning, said the department would “no doubt” exceed its budget this year. The budget, however, doesn’t dictate how DSNY operates, he added.
Every snow season, the DSNY starts with approximately 250,000 tons of rock salt, the department spokesperson said. This year it cost the city about $13.4 million.
But with three major snowfalls already this season, that amount is gone, according to the spokesperson. The DSNY, however, “can replenish the supply at any time.”
Though the amount is likely to go up, more salt has been used in past years, according to city statistics.
For fiscal year 2011, 61.5 inches of snow fell, and 353,769 tons of salt was utilized.
During that period, $62.4 million was spent on snow overtime. When deployed to clear snow and ice, DNSY employees are on special 12-hour shifts.
Last season, 24 inches of snow fell and 183,597 tons of salt were utilized, with over $16 million in overtime, according to a DSNY performance report.