Central Illinois officials say mild winter means big savings

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Officials in Central Illinois say the mild winter is helping their local governments’ bottom line. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports the cities of Bloomington and Normal and McLean County are saving money because temperatures since November have been above normal and there’s been little snowfall. Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch says it’s been the most tame winter he’s seen in seven years on the job. Typically Bloomington would have spent $250,000 on rock salt for streets by this time of the year. But so far the city has spent only $61,000. Normal and McLean County report similar savings. Overtime for snowplow workers and fuel costs also are coming in under budget. Karch says “During a tough fiscal time, it helps to have a mild winter.”