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What is the cost of winter?

11:33 PM, Feb 9, 2014   |    comments
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Atlanta - photo from WXIA video

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The cost of winter can be high for local governments and agencies. From plowing, salt, and manpower the costs continue to rise.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is feeling the pinch.
In 2012, the winter season cost about $66 million dollars according to MDOT. Last year, it was $100 million, and this year could climb as high as $117 million.

The big issue every year is overtime budgets and the amount of salt used. There is already 130% increase in salt use from last year.

So far we've used 228,000 tons, more than double the 76,000 tons used in 2011.

The cost of that salt isn't cheap. This year it is nearly $6 million dollars, compared to $2.5 million last year, and $2 million in 2011. That's a 123-percent increase in costs.

As for fuel, MDOT's use went up 37% from last year.
From 373,000 gallons to 511,000 gallons.

It's enough to make accountants scratch their head and wonder how much more winter the Michigan Department of Transportation can afford.

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