Mild winter means bigger budgets

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKE COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - Many of us across the region woke up to snow covered yards and flakes falling Wednesday, but it could be the last snowfall of the season.

With warmer weather on the way and an overall mild winter some county budgets could benefit.

On Wednesday many of the salt trucks at the Shelby maintenance garage in Pike County made what could be their last thawing rounds of the season meaning all the salt filling the dome will be left over.

"We've got a higher terrain to travel... still have a lot left," said Highway Equipment Operator Adam Newsome.

Each salt truck usually uses about 10 tons of salt per day, but because of the milder winter drivers say they have been using much less.

"The salt will be covered up with boards over there and a tarp will be over it so that it stays in good condition," said Newsome.

The mild winter also acts as a bonus for the county budget. Pike County has nearly 600 tons of salt left. In an average year they buy anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 tons.

"The bad winter we had 3,000 tons! So Lord thank you that we haven't had that bad winter," said Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.

That means if all stays on track they can spend about half as much as they usually do on salt.

"A fellow was in my office just last week and said he heard the frogs croaking. I remember my grandpa said if you hear the frogs croaking that the groundhog was telling the truth and spring is just around the corner," said Judge Rutherford.

So with spring in sight the plow drivers will begin transitioning for warmer weather and stocking up for the next winter wonderland.

"Our trucks will be ready to haul dirt and trees and everything else in the summer," said Newsome.

Road crews say they will be prepared to treat roads if they refreeze overnight but still expect to have plenty of salt left over.

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