Snowstorm depletes city snow budgets -

Snowstorm depletes city snow budgets

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Local officials say many Illinois cities exceeded their snow-removal budgets as a result of the blizzard that pummeled the state last week.

Officials say rising salt costs and declining revenues have strained most snow budgets. Many cities laid off workers but had to replace them with more expensive contractors during large snowfalls.

Some cities have stayed under budget. Peoria did so by laying off several workers and cutting back on salt.

But many city officials say Peoria doesn't represent the norm.

Mark Eckert is the mayor of Belleville. He says he urges city departments not to spend entire budgets so more money is available for events like this week's snow storm.

He says cities cannot avoid the costs of snow removal and will have to cut other services this year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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