The Rising Cost of Falling Snow

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"When it comes to snow and ice in Michigan, you really have to address it as it comes," Interim Operations and Maintenance Superitendent Victor Rose explains winter is the part of the job that simply isn't optional. Rose estimates each snowfall that requires a partial plow--major streets only--osts the city about $50,000. A full plow, like we had last week, runs about $140,000.

"We plan for just about 4 or 5 of those a season," Rose says. "No one remembers doing one this quickly."

Last December, Lansing says they used about 2100 tons of salt. This year, they've already ordered 4100 tons.

"We've got to find the money somewhere," Rose says. He explains it may means trade-offs, like less for pothole maintenance or new sidewalks. He stresses those trade-off's aren't yet imminent, but Lansing's on pace for trouble.