The Cost of Winter 2013-2014 - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

The Cost of Winter 2013-2014

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While we're all ready to leave winter behind, not everybody can.

Winter spending affects the overall budget from here on out for Fargo Public Works.

"This winter we saw a lot of minor snow events where it was one inch or a quarter inch," says Fargo Public Works Director Ben Dow.

He says less snow to move and fewer overtime hours helped out the Public Works pocket book.

"We had enough for what we needed to do, so we're looking really good going in. Generally we're a little over budget," he says.

But even though they're right on track this year, Old Man Winter still brought challenges: cold temperatures and slick roads. Public Works stocks up about 8,000 tons of mixed sand and salt a season. That's a price tag of about $500,000.

"In the last two years we've restocked every year and we've gone through anywhere from a half to three-quarters of a shed," says Dow. "This year, we went through all of our material," he says.

The cold also contributed to more equipment break downs. Over at Fargo Snow and Ice Management, Owner Steve Koep is busy getting that salt and sand off his equipment. He moves snow for several area residents and businesses at different accumulations.

"We have customers that are zero-tolerance where if the ground turns white with a dusting, we're out there doing their sidewalks, making sure everything is safe," says Koep.

So the nature of this winter with many, small snowfalls kept them busy nonetheless.

"The zero tolerance ones, man we probably worked... We were probably there 40 times...40 to 45 times this winter," he says.

The Public Works director says it's good to be on track with the budget, especially since they never know what they could face this spring, summer or fall.

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