Saint Louis County officials say they remain hopeful a strike can be averted, after snowplow drivers filed their notice of intent to strike, one minute after midnight on New Year’s Day when their current contract expired. Reportedly at issue are seniority, wages, health care premiums and benefit accrual. Teamsters Union negotiators say they weren’t making any headway and walked out of mediation in December. County officials say they’re available for additional negotiations are waiting for a counteroffer from the union — which has not given an actual strike date. Because of the holiday, a ten-day cooling-off period won’t begin until Thursday, meaning January 13th is the earliest that snowplow drivers could strike. County officials say if there is a strike, supervisors and other licensed and qualified staff will plow roads.