Snow comes amid a season of savings for road crews

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 8, 2016)-- Indy really haven’t seen much snow or cold this winter, and that’s been good for the bottom line for communities across the state.

“I love it. It’s been nice weather,” said Larry Lee, Street Superintendent, City of Lebanon.

Lebanon Street Superintendent Larry Lee said a warm winter means more bucks are in the bank.

“We haven’t really spent anything on winter stuff yet,” he said, “The savings have been great. We’ve not been able to use gas for the plow trucks. The overtime hasn’t been there for the guys, of course, they’d love to have the overtime, but it’s not there.”

Lee has roughly $45,000 budgeted for winter weather. Last year, he came in a little under budget.

But the brutal winter of 2014 cost Lebanon $74,000 by mid-January, along with other costs.

“It really took a hit on roads. Salt and material like that deteriorates roads terribly,” said Lee.

In Indianapolis, the city’s Department of Public Works said last winter they spent a little more than $7.5 million on snow removal, which is near the average.

The winter before, with the extreme cold and polar vortex, cost a whopping $14.5 million in snow removal for the city.

A spokesperson for DPW said cost savings for this winter cannot be identified just yet.

But judging by this season’s mild weather, the city’s cost shouldn’t be that high.

Lee and his crews in Lebanon spent Friday loading trucks and getting ready. They’ll also use beet juice along with salt to speed up the melting process.

With more than three decades on the job, Lee knows winter shows up in cycles and that a good one now means we’ll pay for it later.

“The bad one eventually comes,” he said.

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