Layoffs, furlough days discussed at local road commission - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Layoffs, furlough days discussed at local road commission

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(03/19/14) - This harsh winter weather has been rough on county road budgets.

It's been so rough that there's talk of layoffs at the Saginaw County Road Commission.

It also appears money trouble will mean fewer road construction projects in Saginaw County this spring and summer.

The Saginaw County Road Commission budgeted $1.3 million for winter maintenance. They've spent $2.2 million so far - and the winter weather is not done yet.

"It's painful," said Dennis Borchard, Saginaw County Road Commission Director.

That pretty much sums up the budget situation at the Saginaw County Road Commission. This winter has taken its toll in a number of ways.

"Equipment repair, overtime," Borchard said.

The cost of those items now has Borchard talking with his employees about ways of cutting back.

"It's discussion only right now, but we are looking at several options - layoffs, furlough days, anything we can do to stabilize this budget," he said.

State legislators have approved additional funding for road commissions. Saginaw County will get about $800,000 extra, which will help.

"It's going to get us through our winter problems, but we are looking and anticipating a spring break up of these roads," Borchard said.

That's already apparent on many roads - with potholes showing up all over the place.

Borchard has already notified townships that the Road Commission will not be able to help on financing of certain projects as much as it has in the past.

"While it's disappointing, we understand," said Rob Grose, Saginaw Township manager.

Grose hoped to see work started on at least two big road construction projects.

"We've been working with the Road Commission and we are well aware that they have planned to postpone some of these for a year," he said.

"Everything, the way we do things, are going to be scaled back to a level of, this is all we can do at this point," Borchard said.

The Saginaw County Road Commission has about 70 employees.

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