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Snowless Winter Saved City $1M In Overtime, 260K Tons Of Salt Last Year

By Heather Cherone | October 31, 2017 3:28pm
 More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter.
More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter.
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Will Bentke

CITY HALL — Last year's nearly snowless winter saved the city nearly $1 million — and 260,000 tons of road salt, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams told aldermen Tuesday.

"We're ready for the snow," Williams said.

The savings banked by the city because there was no snow for plow drivers to clear after hours while being paid overtime would have been greater if the city hadn't been hit by several "ice events," Williams said.

"Those can be more costly because you have to keep salting," Williams said.

In all, the city has 370,000 tons of salt on hand, Williams said, adding that the city learned its lesson and always starts the winter season with plenty of road salt, after being caught short several years ago being forced to pay a premium.

The city barely had snow last winter, though there were snaps of extremely cold weather.

Chicago — and most of the rest of Illinois — is expected to see a wetter than normal December through February, according to the National Weather Service.