Warm Winter good for city budgets

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - In most places in Butler County salt trucks have only had to hit the streets once or twice this year, and it's past mid-January.

"We've been through a lot of mild temperatures and the moisture we have had has come in the form of rain, so it really hasn't been an issue," said David Butsch, Public Works Director in Fairfield.

When salt trucks aren't on the streets, cities and townships aren't spending money on materials and overtime for employees.

So how dramatic have the savings been so far this year compared to previous years?

In Fairfield, the city spent between $750,000 and $850,000 on treating city roads; however, this Winter the city has spent only $50,000.

"It's about a 1/10 or less of what we typically spend," said Butsch.

In West Chester Township their costs during the 2009-2010 winter season was about $502,000 and last winter their costs reached $338,000. So far this year the township has spent nothing.

"If there were dollars left over that would be carried over to be used for road and maintenance projects whether it be paving, asphalt, or other type of maintenance," said Tim Franck, Community Services Director of West Chester Twp.

"Whether it would be police officers or general operating expenses from electric, or utility bills the city incurs or any emergency repairs, it stays in the fund for anything we need it for," said Butsch.

Most likely a city will carry over any saved money to the following year in case it's an ugly winter.

"It gives a lot of municipalities a chance to get caught up a little bit," said Butsch.

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