Mild weather equals savings for governments

2012-01-02T22:00:00Z 2012-01-04T11:00:04Z Mild weather equals savings for governmentsMARLA TONCRAY marla.toncray@lee.net Ledger Independent
January 02, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

So far, so good.

That's the feeling of Mason County Judge-Executive James L. "Buddy" Gallenstein about the mild weather seen in the region coming into 2012.

Gallenstein said on Monday the county has realized a savings of about $100,000 compared to the same time last year.

"The mild weather thus far has been a blessing. No salt or cinders have been used so far," said Gallenstein.

He went on to note at the beginning of January 2011, county road department crews had already been out seven times salting and treating roadways due to early and heavy snowfalls.

Even with Monday's light snowfall, county employees weren't needed to clear roadways, although state road crews were called out to clear Kentucky 324 in May's Lick when blustering winds and heavy snowfall in an isolated area caused the roadway to become treacherous, resulting in a two-car accident.

At $60 per ton, Gallenstein said each time county crews are called out to treat roadways, the cost can run into an extra $50,000 per month in terms of materials, manpower and equipment costs.

Depending on the type of winter weather conditions, the county will use 10 tons of material, spread by eight trucks that are typically filled up twice to keep roadways clear.

City officials are also grateful for the delayed start to winter weather, noting each snowfall is different, which impacts how many trucks and men work to keep roadways clear.

City Manager Ray Young said the city typically spends $100,000 on salt each year, but one-fourth of the way into the winter season, the city hasn't had to spend any money yet.

Rick Truesdell, director of Public Works said Monday's snow didn't necessitate the treating of roadways, but when the time comes, four trucks are used to keep surfaces treated.

Truesdell said both sectors of the city, the valley and on the hill, can be covered by four trucks in about three hours, and depending on the type of snowfall, department employees are kept on standby for additional treatment.

Although officials are thankful now, they caution it's "too early to tell" what, if any savings the winter season may bring.

Copyright 2015 Ledger Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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