Mild winter may save transportation agencies money

Little snow in the Tri-State so far means big savings for state and local agencies that are grateful for weather that's helping their budgets.

Dealing with snow has cost the Ohio Department of Transportation about $2.8 million this year.

ODOT has spread just 13,000 tons of salt, down from 146,000 last year.

So far the Tri-State has officially had only 0.4 inches of snow this winter season.

Statewide, ODOT spends an average of $63 million a year on snow and ice operations. That's in addition to what's spent in Northern Kentucky and other areas.

Hamilton County buys about 20,000 tons of snow well before winter and have only used a fraction of it so far.

Outgoing Hamilton County Engineer William Bradshaw says despite the lack of snow, his department still has to spend money because of mother nature.

"We have a record year of rainfall, so we have all these landslides to pay for, so we already have some indebtedness that we've paid for and we've had to delay some other projects," he said. "But it helps the budget when you don't have snow."

"We always get our crews ready in October, we check the equipment, we go over procedures and safety precautions with our drivers and our crews so they can be prepared to have a safe winter when they're treating our roadways," said Nancy Wood with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Wood says her agency tries to stay within their snow removal budget.

"Each year, statewide, they set aside approximately $30 million for snow and ice in the maintenance fund," she said. "If it's a heavier winter in western Kentucky then the money will go that way, if it's needed up here in Northern Kentucky then more of the funding comes up this way. If we go over then we have to cut from different things such as pot holing and paving operations."

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