By Brad Segall

LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) — A lack of snow so far this winter has been good news for suburban communities, who have seen their budgets busted the last couple of winters to pay for snow removal.

It’s the overtime that really hurts suburban communities during snowstorms — the extra hours they have to pay their employees to drive the trucks that plow the streets.

But this year it’s been quiet, except for that Saturday before Halloween when some trucks hit the streets to clear snow (see related story).

“We know we haven’t dodged all the bullets yet,” says Lower Merion public works director Don Cannon.  “We’ve had some late snowstorms (in previous years).  I mean, I’ve been doing this now for almost thirty years, so we know the storms can come right up until April.”

He says the fairly mild season so far has allowed Lower Merion to use some of the money that was set aside for snow removal materials — like salt — is instead being used to blacktop roads and lay piping, which would normally be done during the summer.

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