Many Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states, buried last week under two feet of snow from the Blizzard of '03, are looking to divert funds allocated for road construction and maintenance to cover snow removal costs.
According to The Washington Post, the Commonwealth of Virginia hopes to shift $63 million from the $2.2 billion in gas and sales taxes earmarked for the state transportation fund.
The State of Maryland, which is facing $20 million in snow cleanup costs, wants to divert up to $300 million from its $2 billion transportation fund both to cover the cost of snow removal.
Under Maryland's plan, road construction would not be affected, but 63 road maintenance programs would be put on hold and local governments would lose $204 million in state funding for transportation projects.
New York governor George Pataki has declared New York City and 14 other counties disaster areas so they can request federal funding to help defray snow and ice cleanup costs. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the city spent $20 million to remove the snow and ice from its roads last week.
New York state's legislature is also debating a bill that would allow local municipalities to issue snow bonds to defray the cost of snow removal over a five year period without cutting into its current budgets.