BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that while it would be challenging financially if the city is hit with more winter storms like Thursday’s, his top priority is safety and not budget concerns.
Walsh joined WBZ-TV during Thursday morning’s nor’easter that is dumping close to a foot of snow on the city. He was asked how the city would handle a winter with high snow totals given budget concerns from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ll have to make adjustments. Last year we didn’t spend all the winter money and were able to move our city forward and allocated that money. That usually that doesn’t usually happen. We cut back on money we put into snow because the last couple years have been mild. But we have enough resources in there right now,” said Walsh.
“Obviously if we continue to get hit like this that’ll be a different conversation and we’ll have to make adjustments. This is a tough year. There isn’t a lot of extra money right now. Our first priority is to make sure people are safe and people can get around the city of Boston. We’re not going to be cutting back on services when it comes to snow storms like this or extreme weather.”
Walsh said there have been about 700 pieces of equipment working to clear Boston streets on Thursday.
He said the COVID protocols have provided a challenge because workers don’t have the ability to come into the Department of Public Works yard to take a break. Instead, they have to stay in their trucks.
There have been no staffing issues due to coronavirus during the storm, Walsh said.
One benefit for crews has been the roads have been largely empty because so many people are working from home. Walsh urged people to stay home and give the plows room to work.