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Early snowfall puts strain on county budgets

This year's early snowfall is causing headaches not only for drivers, but also for the county road departments responsible for clearing it up. Franklin County Road Superintendent Randy Thompson says the county has already used half of its budgeted salt supply.

"Usually we'll start with 600 tons coming in and we'll have 1200 contracted for this year and we've used about half of it - about 600," says Superintendent Thompson.

The salt supply can be replenished from Franklin County's salt vendor in Indiana, but buying more salt now could mean problems down the road.

"Cost - if we spend more for snow removal, then that gives us less for material like asphalt and other work we do during the summer," Thompson explains.

One of the ways Franklin County is trying to make its salt supply go further is to mix it with other ingredients.

"We've used cinders mixed with salt which you don't get as quick a response. It takes it longer to get off, but you do get traction, so that's really helped us over the years," says Thompson.

Superintendent Thompson says the count still has enough salt to treat six to seven more average snowfalls. If they have to work beyond that, they'll deduct the cost from future projects in the county budget. He says he won't let a tight budget endanger the county's residents.

"We'll still go on maintaining. Things will happen and we may have to take from here or there, but we'll make it work"

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