Warmer weather saves taxpayers millions of dollars

LOUISIVLLE, KY (WAVE) - January was the 4th warmest January on record nationwide, and that translates into money savings for you.

"This is the warmest winter I ever remember here," said Nancy Layden of Louisville.

A winter so warm for Layden, the season reminds her of some winters at her former Florida home.

"Actually, it does. Except we don't have the flowers blooming like we did in the winter there," Layden said.

This winter, the thought of saving money might bloom in the minds of Kentuckians. In fact, Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the agency spent $4.35 million dollars less so far this winter than last year.

"Because we haven't had to be out salting roads," said Clifford, "we haven't had to pay for our contract trucks or overtime for employees for snow and ice." And that's saved taxpayers millions of dollars.

"That's good. That's always good to hear that we saved money," said Layden.

Clifford said the money not spent on snow and ice as part of the maintenance budget can be used in other ways.  "Things such as pothole patching, bridge deck repairs, litter removal, mowing," said Clifford.

Driver Cecelia Cristensen of Jeffersonville said, "that definitely needs to be done. The roads are in horrible shape right now, the bridge is in horrible shape right now, so, any of that that can be helped, yeah."

Louisville's Department of Public Works said its saved $3.5 million this winter in salt usage and overtime, with just eleven snow events this year. And across the river, Clarksville has saved an estimated $100,000 in overtime, salt, fuel and repairs, all thanks to the weather.

"That makes me feel good, that money's been saved," said Cristensen, "that maybe it can be used next year instead of us being taxed more next year or something in preparation of that. Especially with the way gas prices are right now."

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