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DC Blows Budget On Blizzard Cleanup, Mayor Says People Are Happy With Government Response

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter

Washington, D.C. has already blown through its entire 2016 snow removal budget, yet residents face unplowed streets and plowed-in sidewalks four days after the monumental blizzard.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday the majority of District citizens she has spoken with have been very pleased with the city’s response to the historic storm. The District has reportedly spent $12 million on snow cleanup, almost double what was budgeted for the entire year. Despite the mayor’s rosy view of resident responses, she did acknowledge some locals are feeling disgruntled.

“We’re still recovering from a blizzard,” the mayor said Tuesday, reports The Washington Times. “If you’re still trying to get off your block you’re going to have frustrations.”

Residents who shoveled their own sidewalks in lieu of waiting for the city, found their work undone as D.C. plows pushed snow back onto cleared sidewalks. These snow-covered sidewalks and immense plow piles have forced pedestrians into the streets, disrupting traffic and setting Twitter afire with angered residents, reports Washington City Paper.

Business owners could face harsh fines for failing to clear sidewalks in front of their buildings, as D.C. law requires citizens and businesses alike to clear surrounding areas within 24 hours of a storm for the safety of pedestrians, according to The Washington Times. Residents face a fine of $25 while businesses face a fine of $150, in addition to the cost of removing the snow. D.C. will waive the fine for citizens, but businesses are still held accountable for the financial penalty.

Bowser said the city’s snow emergency will officially end at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The District has requested federal disaster assistance to aid in the continued cleanup.

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