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Blizzard cost city at least $354K

Cleanup costs from February's blizzard in Evanston totaled at least $354,000.

That's the figure City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says his staff submitted to Cook County officials as part of a statewide effort to gain reimbursement from the federal government for at least part of the expenses.

Cleanup costs from February's blizzard in Evanston totaled at least $354,000.

That's the figure City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says his staff submitted to Cook County officials as part of a statewide effort to gain reimbursement from the federal government for at least part of the expenses.

Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this week asked that 60 Illinois counties, including Cook, be declared federal disaster areas as a result of the blizzard.

Nearly half of the 600 taxing districts in Cook County have so far reported a total of more than $22 million in storm-related expenses, such as overtime for public safety and emergency personnel, according to Kevin Joyce of the county's emergency management department.

At least theoretically a federal disaster declaration could lead to reimbursement for up to 75 percent of the storm's costs to local governments.

But Bobkiewicz told residents at a 1st Ward meeting Tuesday night that he thinks it's unlikely the city will actually receive any reimbursement.

He said the city's two snow melting machines played a big role in being able to dispose of the two feet of snow that fell in the first week of February and added that he plans to present a full report on the snow removal efforts at the next City Council meeting on March 14.

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