Lack of snow means salt surplus for local road agencies

Plows left with no job to do, on yet another snowless day. / Mike Horne

Only four days till Christmas, and still no snow. As NBC25 reported Tuesday, that's unwelcome news for local snow removal businesses grounded by dry weather. But it's just the opposite, for the Saginaw County Road Commission.

"Every dollar spent in snow removal is a dollar less we could spend in summer months in that type of activity, said Brian Wendling, managing director at the Saginaw County Road Commission.

On average, Saginaw County Road Commission goes through about 12,000 tons of salt a year. But as of Wednesday morning, much of it was still in the county TMs salt barn, and the snow plows in the garage with nowhere to go.

But Wendling's not complaining. He said, We've got all the salt we'd need for a typical winter and above and beyond that." Wendling says the county's saving money on salt, fuel, and labor and overtime. At this rate, he says, the cash-strapped road commission could have more than $300,000 in extra funds to use next fiscal year.

I've got a few days to get through yet, and Mother Nature will dictate how much of that's left."

But for now, looks like Mother Nature is giving us a break.

Still no reason though, to ignore these words of caution before you head to your Christmas destination.

Ben Wardin of Hemlock says, "Just gotta be careful - watch out for the other guy." And Travis Thurlow of Birch Run: "Lack of snow doesn't mean go nuts. It means still use caution."