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Slow Start to Winter Helps Snow Removal Budgets

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The mild winter has been welcomed by many cities that have seen snow removal budgets strained for consecutive years. 

That includes Wisconsin Rapids.

Mayor Shane Blaser says the longer the big storms hold off, the easier it is to manage the season.

“If you have like January, February, March getting a lot of snow, then you start the season again in November and you start getting a lot of snow in November and December, that makes for a really tough year.”

Many cities keep their annual snow removal budget in a "lock box".

That means those funds can't be used elsewhere.

That’s true even if there's some left over from year to year, meaning those savings accounts have been tested recently.

“Any good year that we can get we appreciate because we know other years are not so good.  So hopefully it balances it out but… we know it’s coming, ” said Blaser.

Several municipalities in Central Wisconsin have yet to declare a snow emergency this winter, leaving street crews with more time to get to small patch-up jobs instead of focusing on snow removal.