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Breaking News: Summer Rainstorm Will Drench Northern Westchester
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Mild Winter a Relief for Tired Town Crews

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – The mild winter is a welcome relief to Cortlandt’s Department of Environmental Services staff and budget. The department went over its budget by $218,239 in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

“Our biggest fear was that the debris would still be on the roadside and we would get a big storm,” said, Jeff Coleman, Cortlandt DES Director, about debris from October’s freak snowstorm. “All that debris would be on the side of the road embedded in a chunk of ice and would have to wait until the spring,” he said.

The department budgets $690,000 annually for snow removal, including salt, overtime and private contractors.The town annually buys 7,000 tons of salt, or about 14 million pounds, accounting for nearly half the annual budget.

The department has so far only spent a small fraction of that on icing conditions. October's snowstorm melted but left trees in the area ravaged. October’s snowstorm cost the town $250,000 unforeseen brush and tree removal costs, although it didn’t take a huge bite out of the town’s snow removal budget.

Cortlandt Town Comptroller, Glenn Cestaro, remains unconvinced that the winter will remain mild. “It’s going to snow, don’t worry about it,” he said, adding that writing an article about it is probably bad luck.

Despite the massive damage caused to the area by October’s snowstorm, the only snowfall in the area this season, the damage did not reach the threshold at the state level to be deemed a federal disaster by FEMA. The town will have to swallow the cost of the debris removal, and will not be reimbursed.

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