NEW YORK - (AP) - It may be hot out but New York City is thinkingahead to winter.

The Department of Sanitation announced Monday it is seeking tohire private snow plows to help out when 6 or more inches of snoware forecast.

Commissioner John Doherty said the agency is proactively lookingfor private contractors to assist the city with tertiary streetsduring major snowstorms so they can be cleared in a timely manner.

The agency also is looking to hire private tow trucks to moveabandoned cars from streets during snowstorms. That was a majorproblem during the city's Dec. 26 blizzard. It dumped more than 20inches of snow and many of the city streets were left unplowed fordays.