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'Can't wait for spring': Long winter drains plow drivers, municipal budgets

1:48 AM, Mar. 21, 2013
Ken Niewolny, a mechanic with the Wausau Public Works Department, checks the oil in a city snow plow Tuesday. The long, snowy winter has taken a toll on drivers and their equipment.
Ken Niewolny, a mechanic with the Wausau Public Works Department, checks the oil in a city snow plow Tuesday. The long, snowy winter has taken a toll on drivers and their equipment.
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Wausau's long and snowy winter has worn out its welcome even with those who make their livings clearing roads, sidewalks and parking lots each time snow appears.

Above-average snowfall already is stretching annual road budgets in central Wisconsin cities and villages, just two-and-a-half months into the year that those budgets are supposed to last, and workers in private snow-removal companies are tired of the long hours and wear on equipment.

Wausau's 2013 budget includes about $1.8 million for all winter operations, including clearing roads of ice and snow, but frequent winter ...

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