MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ) – The mild winter has meant money in the bank for local road departments.

Macomb County Road Commission Director Bob Hoepfner said costs for salting and plowing have been cut by $1.4 million compared to last winter.

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“We have not spent money on salt or overtime or equipment costs due to the mild winter, but the winter lasts into April so we have to always be prepared. We shouldn’t count our chickens before they’ve hatched,” said Hoepfner.

So, what will the county be doing with all that extra cash?

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“At the end of the season, we’ll sit down and determine exactly how much our savings are and then we’ll use that money to do needed improvements on the roads or purchase good winter equipment for next year,” said Hoepfner.

County officials say the money will be reallocated to four areas: expanding the limestone program on gravel roads, completing additional asphalt resurfacing, repairing concrete pavement through the Pavement Preservation Program and purchasing additional equipment for maximum operating efficiency.

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Hoepfner also said salt usage through mid-February 2011 weighed in at 39,119 tons, while only 4,799 tons were used this year.