High cost of winter storms - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

High cost of winter storms

Cincinnati's salt dome in Camp Washington. (FOX19 NOW/Dan Wells) Cincinnati's salt dome in Camp Washington. (FOX19 NOW/Dan Wells)

Cincinnati's not the only place dealing with snowfall this February. 

The Ohio Department of Transportation is fighting to balance what's becoming a snow mound of a problem, its winter budget allocation.

ODOT crews have been busy restocking materials, repairing equipment, and basically getting things in tip-top shape so they can do it all over again.

The latest numbers aren't in yet but we should have them later Tuesday, said Sharon Smigielski, an ODOT spokeswoman.

The agency's District 8 office has a big territory treating roads in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Preble, and Warren counties.

If ODOT exceeds its road maintenance budget during the next winter storm, maintenance issues down the road, such as guard-rail repair and mowing, could be buried.

In Kentucky, the Commonwealth has spent $3.5 million dollars so far this winter season. According to Nancy Wood, agency spokeswoman, a good majority of that money in District 6, which covers Northern Kentucky, was spent February 16-23, about $1.9 million total.

As winter expenditures mount, that reduces the availability of future funding for performing other maintenance needs throughout the year, Wood said. 

At this time, however, “We don't see a severe impact on our statewide ability to fund/perform future maintenance tasks” she said.

In Cincinnati, city officials said they budgeted $779,090 last winter and spent an additional $3.1 million.

For this winter season (2014-15), the City budgeted $1.2 million dollars for snow plus a $3.2 million in a "weather contingency" plan that didn't exist last year.

So far, Cincinnati has spent $2.4 million dollars on winter response this season.

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