Southwest suburban officials say they've managed salt reserves despite multiple sustained snowfalls and nine days in January where temperatures have dropped below zero.
Orland Park officials say they don't know what the village has spent so far on costs related to the harsh winter. Joe La Margo, an Orland Park spokesman, said the village set aside $275,000 for the winter for salt and de-icer.
Tinley Park Public Works officials said they've spent about $350,000 on materials such as fuel and salt this season and have stayed under budget. The village has also spent about $293,000 on plowing contractors, shy of the $339,000 set aside.
Both southwest suburbs have used more than 4,100 tons of salt. Tinley Park pegged the total cost for salt around $50 per ton, and it budgeted for about 5,000 tons. Orland Park officials pegged salt reserves around 500 tons, but said more salt is available in Joliet.
La Margo said because Lake Michigan is 70 to 80 percent frozen, the company Orland Park receives some of its materials from via barge now sends salt from Joliet, which has slowed down delivery a bit.
Orland Park has racked up about 3,800 hours for its crews and about 2,500 hours of overtime, though the spokesperson couldn't say how much that would end up costing the village. Tinley Park officials said they've incurred about 2,175 hours of overtime for laborers to date.
Orland Park last winter saw about 18 inches of total snowfall, La Margo said, By comparison, Tinley Park officials said they already have had about 50 inches this winter. Tinley budgets for an average 30 inches of snowfall each winter, said Terri Pignatiello, office coordinator for the Tinley Park public works department.
Bill Steinhauser, a manager at Ace Hardware store in Tinley Park, described the recent weather as having "looked like Antarctica outside."
The store offered coffee for customers to help boost spirits while temperatures plummeted.
Local schools closed once more this week due to the harsh winter weather. Community Consolidated School District 146 closed Monday and Tuesday, as did Consolidated High School District 230 and Bremen High School District 228. The Orland Park library also closed its doors Tuesday.
Some businesses, including the Culver's on 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park, shut down this month during the first so-called polar vortex, which brought wind chills of 40-below zero the first week of January. This week, the restaurant remained open. An assistant manager said the restaurant had been closed Monday Jan. 6 as a precaution in case pipes burst.
"We're busier than the average Monday," Scott Pomykalski said this week.