Snow plowing costs way down

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MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Minnesota’s snow plows are getting a break this winter. Although there’s been some significant moisture in the last couple of weeks, the season’s still memorable for how little precipitation there’s been.

State Department of Transportation officials say through the end of December they spent about $14 million on snow removal. That’s less than half the $32 million cost for the same period a year ago, when spending set a record.

In central Minnesota, Kandiyohi County has spent at most $25,000 this winter on plowing costs, compared to more than $500,000 by this time last year.

Even northern Minnesota is seeing some historic snow deficits. In Roseau County neare the U.S. border with Canada, county highway engineer Brian Ketring said while there’s white on the ground, “you can see the grass poking through.”

Ketring said county snow plows have been out on the roads only two or three days this winter. He said one longtime resident told him the last time he saw this little snow was 71 years ago, in 1941.

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