Mild Winter Saves Some, Hurts Others

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Winter is over, at least according to the calendar.

For the past several months, we hardly saw any real signs of the winter weather we are used to.

This Spring weather is nothing new. We have been enjoying warm temps and snow-less weeks for months now.

That means PennDOT has been enjoying big savings on what would have been spent to clean up from Mother Nature.

The penndot salt shed in Montoursville has a healthy amount of salt leftover from this winter season. And the plow trucks have sat idle more often than not. All because this was the winter that wasn't.

"We experienced in the neighborhood of a $2 million savings primarily in overtime cost savings and material cost savings in our nine county district," said PennDOT's Rick Mason.

Plus, the nice weather has allowed PennDOT crews to work on maintenance projects including a pipe replacement near Turbotville in Northumberland County.

The leftover salt can be used next winter and the big bucks PennDOT saved by not having to pay overtime or use materials will go to good use.

"We'll be able to plow that into our Summer maintenance program and be able to do more projects we may have not had the resources to do," said Mason.

Stockpiles of rock-salt and Quik-Joe melt are not exactly what hardware stores like Elery W. Nau in Montoursville had in mind for the first full day of Spring.

"This year you get cold for two days then warm up, consequently Mother Nature took care of snow and ice what little bit we did get," said owner Gary Oechler.

Across the street, the folks at Country Ski and Sports said sales were down nearly 40% and they still have lots of skis and outerwear left on the racks.

"This year was rough, without snow in the yards, people weren't thinking snow," said Dave Hurley.