Warm weather saves taxpayers $$$ - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Warm weather saves taxpayers $$$

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Street departments in cities like Cedar Falls are reporting tens of thousands of dollars in savings. Not to mention, they're getting a jump-start on summer construction projects.

"Every time our trucks do not have to roll, whether it's snow removal, plowing, de-icing, whatever the case may be, it's saving us money. Fuel, wear and tear on the trucks," Cedar Falls Operation and Maintenance Manager Brian Heath told KWWL in December.

Heath was happy to have such a slow start to the winter. But he never imagined the mild weather would stick around through spring.

"Probably been the least amount of snow removal that we've ever experienced. At least in the 30 years that I've been with the city," said Heath.

The city saved about half of the $140,000 snow removal budget. That includes saving on overtime and truck maintenance. As far as salt and sand goes -- they purchase that ahead of time.

"We have now on hand approximately the amount needed for next winter, give or take 500 tons or so," said Heath.

Luckily it lasts.

"With the addition of the new hoop building, we actually had somewhere to store it -- which is a good thing!" added Streets Supervisor Randy Bennett.

That's another benefit of the quiet winter -- they had time to move into their new public works building earlier than expected.

"Where, now we actually have everything under one roof, which makes it a lot more efficient for us," said Bennett.

Crews were also able to take on several outdoor projects.

"We cleared a lot of waterways that were long overdue, we worked on a kayak bath through there," Heath noted.

Another example of the projects they were able to accomplish is a trail that ultimately will connect Black Hawk Park with Big Woods Lake.

"The water level being low, it was an excellent time for us to tackle that project," said Bennett.

Heath expects we'll have a more typical winter next year. But this is one he won't soon forget.

The Public Works Department began the process of building a new site after the 2008 flood. A state grant covered more than $8 of the $11.6 million project. They are expecting to host an open house sometime this summer.

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