Being nearly 15 degrees above our monthly average for this time of the year isn’t just nice for those wanting to get outside and enjoy the fresh air: it’s also saving the City of Rockford money which would have been spent on plowing and salting city streets.
“Since the first of the year, we haven’t had to plow residential streets. That’s significant,” said Rockford Public Works Street Superintendent Mark Stockman. “That’s about $150,000 per operation (that we save).”
Stockman says a lack of snowfall in 2017 has required less salt and less spending in staff overtime. Stockman says that cost could get as high as $250,000 per snowfall.
“Any savings that we would realize from not using the salt this year wouldn’t be realized until the following winter,” he says.
Despite the lack of snow, other city businesses, like the Rockford Park District, are able to maintain their normal operations. The warm temperatures aren’t stopping people from enjoying the snow park at Alpine Hills, where people can sled down artificial snow, allowing the park to be an open despite the high temperatures.
“The weather has been warm,” said Rockford Park District Assistant Manager of Operations Mike Cheek. “But, we have still seen customers coming in, since there isn’t any snow on the ground naturally. We are able to make our own snow.”