Massachusetts’s cities and towns are plowing through their snow removal budgets faster than the historic snow of the last two weeks has accumulated. There is really no choice but to plow first and then figure out how to pay for it later. 

Geoff Beckwith of the Massachusetts Municipal Association says communities are running into tens of millions of dollars in budget overruns in their snow and ice accounts, and will carry over that deficit into the next fiscal year which begins in July:

"So the problem is that these white snowflakes are going to melt into red ink, and that's going to translate into budget cuts in services next year unless there's some assistance provided by the federal and state government."

State Officials are hopeful that some snow removal costs will be reimbursed by FEMA.

On Sunday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that the city has already exhausted the $18 million it had budgeted.

Worcester, the state’s second largest city, also appears to be going in the hole, having tapped out it’s $1 million budget before last week. That storm – called The Blizzard of 2015, Juno, or "snowmageddon" – is estimated at $1.5 million. Tuesday’s costs are thought to be at least $500,000.

Springfield had budgeted $1.6 million. Before Juno, the municipality had spent about $1.45 million. Last week’s storm cost $350,000; today Tuesday’s estimate is at least $300,000.

Lawrence may be in even worse shape. The city budgeted $150,000.  Early estimates from last week have cleanup at $1 million.

State government budgeted $100 million for snow and ice removal this year. Going into Tuesday, half of that is estimated to have been spent.