Kentuckiana counties busting the budget on snow removal


by Adrianna Hopkins

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 11 at 12:47 AM

How would you rate the city's snow response this week?

Brine tracks, salt trucks, and plows are just about everywhere, day or night. It is necessary to treat the roads, but doing so has been a budget buster for some areas.

It's been a busy winter, and for some counties in Kentuckiana, a very expensive season.

We checked on three counties in Indiana, and three counties in Kentucky. Some are doing much better than others.

"Before we had this event that started on Monday, we had used about 15,000 tons of salt. That was for the other five events that we had already experienced. This one is still ongoing, but at this time we've probably used at least 3,000 tons," said Mayor Jerry Abramson's spokesperson Lindsay English.

But in the Metro there are 25,000 tons of salt on standby and the budget was already set for this winter season. Plus, because shifts are regularly split either day or night, there's not much overtime.

That's not the case for Hardin County. Roads there are clear, but their budget has taken a major hit. Salt costs are up to about $83,000 and fuel and overtime has cost $35,000.

In Grayson County, they're spending over $50 a ton for salt, and Monday night they used about 400 tons. They have 21 employees who are all getting about 15-20 hours of OT for these events. But their budget is okay for now.

And in Indiana, their purse strings have weathered a tug. In Floyd County, they spend $71 a ton for salt. They say they've used a lot and have a lot of overtime.

In Jefferson County, Indiana, they've used about 400 tons of salt and 3 to 4,000 tons of cinder. They don't pay overtime, but use comp hours. Still, we're told their budget's okay, if Mother Nature takes a break.

And in Jennings County the numbers weren't in yet. But we're told, they've been through a bunch of salt and employees have worked around the clock.

So, has all this budget busting been worth it?

"So far, not that good down in the West End. They could do better. But they're doing the best that they can for right now," said Juanita Jackson.

"The roads are in good shape, this time. City was well prepared this time," said Tim Barnes.

The County Judge of Grayson County told WHAS11 that salt's not easy on the roads so he's expecting to spend a lot on clean up and pot holes this summer.