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Mild Winter Helps Government Coffers But Hurts Snow Business

Friday, December 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM

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Ohio's dry, mild winter has helped state and local government save on road salt and labor, something that pleases many cash-strapped municipalities across the state.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has used 20,000 tons of salt so far this winter, compared to 202,000 at this time in 2010.  An ODOT spokesman says that comes to $11-million in savings. 

But for snow sport buffs and ski resort owners, the lack of snow’s been a letdown.  Steve Mackle of the Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort outside of Cleveland, says right now, they’re managing with snow-machines to cover their trails.

“Unfortunately we need the cold weather and we haven’t gotten that either,” says Mackle. “So at every chance we get, we’ve been producing man-made snow.  And for us we look at temperatures around 28 degrees, is the highest we can make man-made snow.”

So far, Cleveland’s seen about eight inches’ worth of snowfall…which is half the seasonal average. The immediate forecast for the weekend doesn’t give much respite from the weather, which includes above-freezing temperatures and rain. 

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