Both shovels and salt have gathered dust this year as central Ohio experienced a mild winter.

Both shovels and salt have gathered dust this year as central Ohio experienced a mild winter.

Dublin used less than a third of the salt it used last winter and has experienced some serious savings due to mild weather.

According to streets and utilities director Ron Burns, Dublin used about 9,000 tons of salt last winter compared to 2,628 tons so far this year.

"We budgeted for 8,000 tons," he said, noting that during an average winter about 8,000 tons of salt are used to keep roads in Dublin safe. "But of course, there are highs and lows."

This year would be a low, as Burns said Dublin has used about 18 percent of what's spent during a normal year, including labor, materials and equipment.

According to the 2012 budget, $516,420 was allocated for street salt. The entire streets and utilities budget - which includes street maintenance and repair, mosquito control and replacement and repair of guardrails - is $2.6 million.

Dublin always has 4,000 tons of salt in storage and last salted streets Jan. 19. The last time street crews were "out doing snow removal activities was Jan. 27," Burns said.

"We responded to winter weather 10 times," he said. "We really haven't plowed this year."

If no more snow falls this year, savings will go back into Dublin's general fund and the salt will remain in storage until next year.

"It's stored out of the weather," Burns said. "The salt lasts forever."

Even though March 20 marked the first day of spring, Burns said he's not ready to put the plows away.

"Typically at the end of March and early April, we get a couple light snows and some freezing rain," he said.