The mild weather this winter may have been a disappointment for those hoping for a white Christmas or some snowy recreation, but it has also meant hundreds of thousands in savings for area governments.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Thursday, Groundhog Day, meaning six more weeks of winter if you are superstitious. However, if that means six more weeks of mid-50s temperatures during the day, city and county road crews will be able to live with that.
Duane Campbell, Boyle County Public Works director, said the county averaged ordering about 1,000 tons of road salt over the last four years before last year’s frequent ice and snow events meant having to order about 1,300 tons. The price of road salt has risen as it has been harder to come by during the last several years as well.
This winter, however, Campbell said the savings so far have probably been about $80,000. Overtime also has gone down from the 60-100 hours typical during the first quarter to virtually none. “We definitely aren’t out of the woods yet, but temperatures usually aren’t as cold going forward, and we are able to deal with it better when it’s warmer,” Campbell said.