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Salt budget drained

Last night's dusting of snow drained the remainder of Charlotte's budget for snow and ice removal for the season. City Street Superintendent Layton Lamb says he budgets about $100,000 for salt and staff time to deal with storms. The last snowfall two weeks ago cost about $80,000, but Lamb says the city usually runs over budget on storms. "While we're doing storm work we're not doing street maintenance work and of course our salaries are set, our equipment budgets are set. So the only difference is we're using salt rather than asphalt, so the costs kind of offset," Lamb says. City crews focus on salting high traffic roads like Park and Central, while state road crews are responsible for interstates and major thoroughfares like Tryon and Woodlawn, according to Lamb. State transportation officials say they have plenty of salt left for the rest of the winter. Lamb says the same is true for the city, but he says a serious set of snowstorms could force him to ask the city council for emergency funding.