Departments using leftover salt from last year’s mild winter

Hundreds of plows across Central Indiana are digging into piles of salt as the latest winter storm rolls through and there is plenty of it, because of last year’s mile winter.

A typical winter can dump around 25 inches of snow on Central Indiana. Last season, only 10 inches fell. So far this winter, that number is already 18 inches not counting this recent storm.

Last winter, INDOT spent $18.4 million on cleaning up the state’s messy highways. This time, the total cost is already up to $17.5 million and the season isn’t finished yet.

It’s a similar story in the Metro area. Indy’s Snow Force spent a total $3,624,636.98 last year and has already spent $3,570,848.63 this year.

However, highway departments across Central Indiana claim this is still a mild winter.

Boone and Johnson Counties are sitting on about 400 tons of salt each. Hamilton County reports it has only used one third of the salt it would normally expect to use during a winter.

While many departments bought less salt last year, because of the excess, officials aren’t sure they will be able to do that again this year.