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Winter weather strains snow removal budget

Students bundle up to brave campus sidewalks on the way to class.

Students bundle up to brave campus sidewalks on the way to class.

This winter has been anything but pleasant.

Snow has continued to fall down on Ohio Northern's campus throughout the winter, and the cold temperatures turned that snow into ice. For the past three months, students, staff and faculty have been carefully walking on icy sidewalks and through parking lots. We know the physical implications that the weather has put on Ohio Northern, but what financial issues has the university been dealing with concerning the snow and snow removal?

According to Bill Ballard, the Vice President for Financial Affairs, approximately "104.2 tons of road salt and ice melt [has been] used to date."

The wintry weather has not only affected Ohio Northern and the city of Ada, but also surrounding areas like Lima, Findlay and Kenton. Even further northern cities, such as Toledo and Detroit, have been buying salt and ice melt from our local stores, simply because their cities have run out of the supplies.

Considering the excessive amount of ice melt and road salt that has been used just for Ohio Northern, there has been a shortage of these products in the surrounding areas. Because of the shortage, the prices of these products have increased significantly.

A large portion of the university's snow removal budget has been spent on getting these products quickly and distributed around campus.

In addition to the money spent on snow removal items, the P-plant workers of the university have been working many hours of overtime.

"4830 man-hours so far of effort, not counting student group support from time to time," Mr. Ballard states, have been spent on removing snow from the campus.

The Sodexo employees have put much time and strenuous effort to remove the snow and with much payoff in the end.

No new employees have been hired to help accommodate the snow's excessive fall; instead, the university has paid the Sodexo employees in overtime hours.

Though most of the P-plant employees have been focusing on the snow removal issues, there has not been a lack of attention to other parts of the campus. Problems that have occurred on campus, such as the water leaks in Stadium View as well as in Dukes, have been attended to as quickly as the workers possibly can.

With the minimal products offered to the P-plant workers, they have been working efficiently as well as dealing with the other problems on campus. There have not been any other areas on campus lacking due to the focus on the snow removal, thanks to the hard effort of the Sodexo workers.

Mr. Ballard stated that this was an "abnormal winter" and, because of the severity of the season, the university does not anticipate another winter being as cold and as snowy as this one.