Local government leaders in Wisconsin apparently aren't expecting a great deal of help from lower energy costs projected for this winter. Rich Eggleston with the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities says falling energy prices won't be a windfall for local government leaders, as they finalize their budgets in the coming weeks. Eggleston says many cities will be setting that money aside, so they can be ready when energy prices climb again. He adds that any short-term savings on energy will be eaten up by increased costs for employee wages and health care.
Federal energy officials estimate that warmer than normal conditions and falling natural gas prices will cut heating costs by 14% in the Upper Midwest this winter. But Eggleston says that's not being seen as a “windfall” by local officials.