Low Budget Delays Road Cleanup

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Snow is piling up outside and drivers say the roads are not a safe place to be.

"it's really slick. If you go too fast you're going to go right off the road, if you're not paying attention," said Anthony Sisk, a driver in Mason.

"The snow keeps stacking up," said Howard Wandell.

"They haven't plowed at all. I haven't seen them go by," said Jessica Davis.

Though inches of snow were already stacked up Sunday morning, the cleanup crews didn't get out until noon.

"We tried to wait as long as possible. We tried not to react to early to the storm," said Bill Conklin, the managing director for the Ingham County Road Commission.

Paying employees overtime is something the road commission can't afford. The commission is strapped for cash as its revenues decline and the cost of employee healthcare and materials continue to rise.

"Salt has doubled in cost. We need to make use of salt very sparingly," said Conklin.

The commission director says the biggest factor working against them is the wind as it blows the snow right back on to the roadway.

"The roads are not in perfect condition. There is not much we can do at this point with the blowing snow," said Conklin.

County trucks turned in early Sunday evening. But, there is a fine line between budgetting and safety. The commission says it coninues to take from summer funds to weather the winter storms.

"We are able to do less and less in summer maintenance each year," said Conklin.

With limited crews clearing snow over night, drivers say it's best not to drive at all.

"It is treacherous out there. You should not be out," said Jim Martemucci, a driver in Mason.

More crews will be clearing the roads before sunrise Monday morning.


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