Illinois municipalities counting deep freeze costs

CHICAGO — Now that the deep freeze is starting to relent, local authorities, businesses and residents around Illinois are beginning to count the costs.

Municipalities are already facing empty road salt reserves, blown overtime budgets for snowplow drivers and expensive repairs to water mains blown apart by ice. They're not dire financial straits but several cities expect to have to pinch other areas of their budgets.

In north-central Illinois, Mendota Mayor David Boelk says he'd much rather spend the city's money on things like improved roads instead of salt to melt the snow.

On the plus side, the mild winters of recent years were a break.

And University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz says the cold snowy weather won't have a lasting financial impact.