Less Snow Means Bigger Budget

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The salt is piled high and the plows are waiting to be hooked up.

"We have the capability of storing 2,500 tons of salt," Director of Public Works in Jackson, Jon Dowling, said.

The barn across the street from Dowling's office is full, a rare sight this time of year.

"(In an) average winter the barn would be half to a third full," he said.

The salt isn't the only thing piling up. Jackson has spent $122,000 of its $613,000 winter snow removal budget. That money is put aside for plowing and salting, but with the mild winter we've experience here in Mid-Michigan, the money is piling up. And it's good news in Lansing too.

"The snow removal budget for the city of Lansing has been about $1.8 million," Public Safety Director, Chad Gamble, said. "We're at about the $1.2 million to $1.3 million range."

Despite the surplus that both cities are experiencing, there's a big difference in when the cities plan to spend the money.

In Jackson, the extra money has already been spent on fixing roads in the area. Dowling says crews have been out all winter long doing patch work that would normally be done in the summer.

It's a different tune in Lansing.

"Winter is not over yet," Gamble said. "When winter does cease we will of course look at the material costs of what we saved and turn it over to road maintenance."

Both Lansing and Jackson road crews plan to get out before the snow stops and are willing to send out extra crews if the weather calls for it.

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