April blizzard puts a dent in Oshkosh road salt budget

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY)- The cost of clean-up from the April blizzard continues to have an impact as some communities say it put a big dent in their budget for road salt.

Snow removal trucks
(WBAY file photo)

Before the spring storm many communities were anticipating a surplus of salt going into this fall.

Instead-- cities like Oshkosh will spend $50,000 more than expected.

Oshkosh Director of Public Works James Rabe said, "I mean you never expect that kind of event in April. So it was a pretty significant hit for us. Coming into April we thought we were in a pretty good spot with our salt supplies. We thought we'd be entering the season with a full salt barn, almost full. Certainly April put a big dent in that for us."

Just in April the city used up 860 tons of salt--- pushing the city's salt budget into the red.

Other municipalities are feeling the same pinch-- although Outagamie County says their budget was more on target.

"We used quite a bit of salt up but then obviously in that spring that last event really took it right out and we pretty much used up our whole seasonal amount that we average and we started getting into our reserves," said Outagamie Co. Highway Commissioner Dean Steingraber.

Because of previous mild winters, this is the first time in three years Oshkosh has gone over it's salt budget.

This comes as the price of salt has also gone up by about 14 percent.

In a vote Tuesday night-- the city council approved funding for next season's salt supply, while shifting some money from other departments to cover the existing deficit.

Rabe added, "We just try to make sure that our supplies are adequate if there is a shortage or something that we're full when we start the season so we can hold out a little longer."