Totalling Snow Removal Costs
SCRANTON — We’re learning just how much communities in nine area counties spent on snow removal following the Blizzard of 2017.
Local leaders hope they spent enough so communities, school districts, universities, and hospitals can be reimbursed for much of the cleanup cost.
The nine eligible counties spent a total of about $6.6 million in snow removal. That’s a lot of money but it may not be enough for the federal government to reimburse them for their efforts.
Leaders in the eligible counties say the Blizzard of 2017 will prove the costliest snow storm cleanup in history.
Communities in Bradford County spent $401,000 digging out.
It cost communities in Luzerne County almost $2.8 million.
Lackawanna County spent just under $2 million removing snow during the two days following the March blizzard.
“We have given all the figures to PEMA,” said Lackawanna EMA director David Hahn.
Hahn sent in the bills from 40 communities to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
In Lackawanna County, figures show Scranton spent $365,000 on snow removal followed by Dunmore with $164,000 and Marywood University at $110,000.
But no one will get back a single cent unless the total snow removal cost reaches $18.2 million in the nine eligible counties.
That means PennDOT, the state police, and other state agencies will have to show spending of $11.5 million in those nine counties for their work during the blizzard.
“When the state comes in with their figures from PennDOT and everything else and the state agencies that qualify for reimbursement, I think we’ll be at that level,” said Hahn. “I hope so.”
A lot rides on what state agencies spent. If that $18 million spending threshold is reached, the nine counties could receive a total of $4.9 million.
If the snow removal spending falls short, they receive nothing.