(03/12/14) - The long winter has been especially hard for road commissions in smaller counties. Their snow removal budgets have taken big hits.
If you spot a Shiawassee County Road Commission employee and he looks worn out, there's a good reason for that.
"With the weather we've had, we worked every day but one in January. Our guys had one day off in January. It's just been that historical winter here," said Dean Welte, Shiawassee County Road commission managing director
All that overtime has played havoc with the budget.
"We're currently are about 25 percent over budget right now," Welte said.
That means other projects may have to be put on hold.
"We're hoping this will be the last storm we have, so we can hopefully have a little bit of money left over for summer projects and for next year's winter projects," Welte said.
This latest winter storm just adds insult to injury.
The temperature is warm enough for salt to be effective, but the Shiawassee County Road Commission isn't putting any down right now. They say the wind is so, strong it would just blow it off the road. That means only plowing the snow.
Another concern is the frost level. At one point, it reached 48 inches deep in the Corunna area.
"The more frost you have, the longer it takes to come out, which means you have more of that freeze-thaw and the more that road's moving. It's going to be very detrimental. It's going to make things worse, no doubt about it," Welte said.
If it warms up too quickly, that causes problems too, like flooding.
"Let's hope for a gradual spring and no more snow hits the ground," Welte said.
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