PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The budget Mayor Nutter unveiled this past week has one small but telling item: for the first time, the city is setting aside money specifically for snow removal.

Historically Philadelphia mayors have never earmarked money for snow removal, in part because it was impossible to predict how much might be needed. But after two straight winters in which snow removal costs topped $10 million, Mayor Nutter is, in his new budget, setting aside $4 million for next winter’s snow costs.

“Snow is something that we haven’t historically budgeted for, but the last two years have shown that it can be a significant expense. We spent over $12 million this year on snow, we spent $18 million last year,” said budget director Rebecca Rhynhart.

She says the $4 million figure was chosen because it is the average the city spent over the past five years that includes a couple of storm-free winters.

Reported By Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio.