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Easy winter leaves more green in budget
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MONROE - Thanks to mild weather during the 2015-16 winter, Green County saved 35 percent of its plowing budget, leaving funds to spare should harsher weather reappear in the future.

Highway Commissioner Jeff Wunschel said less snow translated to less time for plow drivers to be on the road and less salt being used throughout the season. In all, the county saved $292,000 out of its budgeted $842,000 to keep the 278 miles of county highways cleared over the winter.

A 7.5 percent decrease in salt costs and diesel fuel prices from the previous year also helped bolster the total savings.

Wunschel added that the Green County Finance and Accounting Committee has made a point to keep the excess plowing money as non-lapsing funds placed in a general use account. That way, higher costs for future years with worse conditions can be offset.

"You can't budget for the extreme, you budget for the average," Wunschel said. "So it serves as a buffer."

Wunschel said the need for funds to deal with general maintenance, such as upkeep of equipment, can also be taken from the non-lapsing funds saved due to milder winter weather.