Although the season isn’t over yet, the City of Carmel may see a savings from a warmer winter this year.
Dave Huffman, director of the city’s street department, said winter isn’t really over until March 31, but he did provide numbers that show 2015-2016 is not as bad as previous years when it comes to potholes reported and salt used to melt snow.
For the time frame from Dec. 1, 2015, to Jan. 28, 2016, there were 1,900 tons of salt used in Carmel, compared to 6,032 for the entire winter in 2014-2015 and 9,000 tons for 2013-2014.
For potholes, there have been 18 reported from Dec. 1, 2015, to Jan. 28, 2016, compared to 31 in the same time frame last year.
The average cost to repair a pothole is approximately $40, which includes labor and materials.
On average, the City of Carmel spends $233,143 on overtime and between $393,000 and $611,000 on salt each year.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard was hesitant to comment much on the warm winter, out of fear of jinxing the city or counting his eggs before they hatch.
“I’ll wait until the end of March, and then I’ll see where we are at,” he said.
In late June, Brainard said he was hoping to borrow $1.5 million out of the city’s rainy day reserve fund in order to “not get too far behind” on road repaving work. He delayed that idea because the council at the time — prior to the newly elected council taking office — did not appear to open to the idea. Brainard said he believes he has the votes now but is waiting until the end of winter before addressing any road repaving needs.
Time frame of Dec. 1 to Jan. 28.
2013-14: 9,000 tons
2014-15: 6,034 tons
2015-16: Updated as of Jan. 28 … 1,900 tons
Source: Carmel City Street Dept.