Road Crew Lay-off

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- The Grand Traverse County Road Commission plans to temporarily lay off about half of its road crew as part of cost-cutting efforts.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports ( ) the commission faces a potential $700,000 to $800,000 deficit by year's end.

Seventeen full-time employees will be laid off for four to six weeks starting at the end of March and again in October. Cook says that will save between $100,000 and $150,000. Officials say, however, the workers could be called back if there's a snowstorm.

Commission Manager Jim Cook says officials plan to keep necessary staff to deal with pothole patching, emergency tree services and other work. He says it doesn't make sense to pay the full road crew when the ground is too frozen or damp for many road projects.