No white stuff means more green stuff for towns

A mild winter so far has been good news to municipalities that are saving on their snow-removal budgets.  

About this time a year ago, snow was piled up two feet high around here, waiting to be plowed and shoveled. So far this season the only major snowfall has been the fast-melting, freak storm in October. Charles Metzger of PennDot says the savings will be plowed right back into the highways.

“Whatever doesn’t get spent on direct winter operations gets immediately rolled over into our spring operations, filling potholes, etc.,” he said. “But more importantly it would also go into our surface treatment programs which would include replacement of [handicapped access] ADA ramps and resurfacing of highways.”

The city of Philadelphia has set aside $4 million for snow cleanup in the 2011-12 budget. This is in addition to money used to buy salt and other chemicals for treating streets. The cleanups also use up overtime dollars the city budgets for the streets department.

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