In the course of an average winter, the National Weather Service says Syracuse, N.Y., gets about 118 inches of snow.
Preparing for a similar onslaught this winter, the city set aside about $2 million for salt, equipment maintenance and overtime hours, says Thomas Simone, first deputy commissioner of Syracuse’s Department of Public Works. The 2011-12 snow season, however, delivered 50.5 inches, letting Syracuse accumulate what Simone called “very unusual” savings of about $1 million, roughly half its snow-removal budget for November through April.
Syracuse was one of many normally snow-burdened cities in the Northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic that benefited from the unusually warm winter weather.
*Minneapolis, which got 22.3 inches compared with its average of 50.7, spent about $2.8 million less this year on snow and ice removal in January through March than it did last year, said Steve Kotke, the city’s director of public works. The city has a $9 million snow and ice budget, Kotke said.
*Milwaukee spent about $2 million less than it does on average from January to the end of March this year, said Wanda Booker, sanitation services manager for the city’s Department of Public Works. Yet, she warns, the savings from the total $7.9 million annual snow and ice budget could vanish if “December comes in like a bear and eats it up, which has happened before,” she said.
*Louisville, through late February, spent about $3.5 million less on winter weather-related expenses than last year. Chris Poynter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer, said the savings played a large role in closing the $12 million city budget shortfall projected for this fiscal year.