Old Man Winter digging into city budgets, retail sales

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EAU CLAIRE, MONDOVI, Wisc. (WEAU) - All the accumulating snow forced many schools to cancel or delay classes, kept plow drivers out of bed and on the roads, and potential customers away from stores in Western Wisconsin.

Four to six inches of snow blanketed the area, forced schools, cities and businesses to make early choices that affected thousands.

"(A snow storm) can range anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 when you add in the cost of hauling snow from downtown and Water St., alternate side cleanup plowing, in addition to just the plowing that happens directly with that storm," Eau Claire Public Works Director Brian Amundson said.

Mondovi Schools started two hours late Friday morning, but other than a few hourly employees working some extra time, snow days don't have much of a financial impact on the district.

"The biggest concern I personally have with the late starts are those families trying to make child care arrangements. That's why we try so hard to get the info out as quickly as we can," Mondovi Superintendent Cherly Gullicksrud said.

"Our priority is always on the safety and whether our buses can travel safely, whether our students that are driving have safe situations to drive," she said.

Eau Claire's Revival Records store owner Billy Siegel said if parking is open, rain and snow can actually keep customers pouring in.

"When conditions are rough and it's tough to park outside, I do see a lot less traffic," Siegel said. "When it's snowy or rainy out, people will come in and buy a couple albums and just kind of sit back and hunker down and kind of watch the snow fall."

Amundson said he hopes to have all residential streets plowed by 2:00 a.m. Saturday.