RENO, NV - City of Reno snow plows have been sitting around--not seeing much action so far this year.
The city has a total of 21 plows, and when you consider, diesel, maintenance, and the big ticket item--over time-- for now, the books look pretty good.
“So far our overtime is minimal. Yea there are a lot less accidents without the snow on the ground, for sure. We don't get guard rails hit. We don't get sound walls hi, street lights, traffic lights, traffic signals,” says Darrel Ellis, City of Reno Maintenance Manager..
Ellis says that doesn't mean crews are just sitting around like the vehicles. They are repairing other street problems like cracks in the roadway.
Ellis says they have been able to repair those cracks in a couple months time that would typically take one year to do.
Both the city of Reno and the state say there are costs associated with cleaning up when winter weather strikes. Costs for ordering more sand for roads go down when there's a mild winter.
While the state doesn't have the final figures, they have been able to calibrate at least one area of savings so far.
“For about a 6 month period equal to like last year the previous winter in over time money alone we have saved about $240,000. But right now its kind of even compared to the previous year because of the Washoe Valley fire because we had to see make repairs on guard rails and a lot of costs associated with that event,” says Thor Dyson, with NDOT.
So if its not ice—its fire that can certainly cost money to fight.
The city of Reno says if the mild winter continues-- money saved on over time and other costs--that money could go to other road projects during the summer construction season. That decision will be made by Reno’s City Council.
But Ellis and Dyson are quick to remind all of us, winter is not over yet.