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‘Very Odd’ Winter Saves La Grange $50,000 on Salt

A look at how Public Works came in $50,000 under budget for street salt as we celebrate the first day of spring.

It was looking to be another light winter for street salting after the mild weather La Grange experienced from November through January.

Then February hit.

Just that one month accounted for most of the village’s salt use this season, Public Works Director Ryan Gillingham said.

“It’s been a very odd year,” he said.

The five-year average for the amount of salt scattered on village streets is about 2,100 tons, according to the village budget.

Gillingham said as of Friday the village has used about 1,500 tons this season (and because Wednesday is the first day of spring, let's hope that's the grand total). Much of that was left over from last winter, which the Chicago Tribune crowned the ninth warmest on record.

Public Works came in $50,000 under budget for fiscal year 2012-13, in part because of how little salt it used. The village buys salt through a contract with the state for $58 a ton.

The salt surplus will continue to positively impact the village’s budget: Public Works is requesting $60,000 to purchase salt for next winter, down from the typical $100,000.

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