WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Mild Winter Saves Cities Money

Jan 26, 2016

More rain than snow means cities have not dipped too far into their road salt supplies or paid as many overtime hours for workers to run early morning snow plows.

Macomb’s Operations Manager Brad Whitford said crews have only been called out a handful of times. 

“We’ve used roughly about 25-30% of our salt inventory. So, just looking at that number on the salt shows you close to what percentage of savings on overtime would be,” Whitford said.

He said costs are also down because of low gas prices.

“It’s apparent that the mild temperatures and lack of snow and ice have been tremendously helpful to the city budget,” said City Administer Dean Torreson.

Macomb budgeted $30,000 for overtime pay but Torreson said the city has spent just one-third of that so far this winter. The city shelled out about $130,000 for road salt and has used about $33,000 worth of it. Road salt can be saved for next year, though the city might have to pay to store it.

Mayor Mike Inman said overtime hours are budgeted for in the summer and any money left over at the end of the fiscal year will go into the city’s reserve funds.