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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2010 at 07:18 AM
    Salt is horrible for the envirmoment and our cars. A day dealy or two will not hurt anyone.
  • by Erin Location: Lansing on Dec 13, 2010 at 11:02 AM
    So in other words, the safety of our citizens is secondary. Winter road maintenance should have been factored into the budget. This isn't Florida, people.
  • by Rick Location: Lansing on Dec 13, 2010 at 09:20 AM
    The bulk of the salt mines under Michigan have been closed for years. The remaining mines are operated by private companies and they like everyone else face climbing costs. It's not as much about a lack of funding in Michigan as it is a total mismanagement of the available revenues.
  • by Becky Location: Jackson on Dec 13, 2010 at 08:31 AM
    Let's remember that it's not the plow truck driver's fault that they aren't salting and plowing as often as we think they should. Be nice!
  • by Matthew Location: Parma on Dec 13, 2010 at 06:18 AM
    So do people understand the meaning of the words SLOW DOWN? It is stressed every year to NOT go out unless you have to. We get warning of upcoming weather problem watching the news, newspaper, and internet so it would seem to me that getting to the gas station and grocery store a day or two in advance would help. People need to slow down anyway, learn to enjoy life a little and get out of this 'rush to get as much done as possible'. 99.9% of us will be here tomorrow to do it.
  • by o rly Location: lansing on Dec 13, 2010 at 06:03 AM
    Don't be so quick to blame the governor. remember how the republicans keep saying: cut taxes! cut taxes! we won't let you go through with the budget so we'll hold our breaths and close the government until you do what we want! and social programs help out a lot of people who are losing their jobs, democrats and republicans alike. everyone is getting screwed over in this economy and it doesn't matter who you are. when you lose your job, will you just shrivel up and die out of pride? or will you rely on these "liberal social programs" that our government has put in place to help those in need? yes michigan owns salt, but do they have money to extract it without profit? and its owned by companies, not the government. if you have a problem with the roads, maybe you should have voted for the taxes to PAY for them. that's how it works. and say goodbye to the pavement and hello to potholes, since plowing and salting will steal from summer repair funding. congrats conservatives.
  • by lansing on Dec 12, 2010 at 11:31 PM
    how in the world can we not afford 'SALT', as WE OWN the largest supply of salt in the world. most people may not know this, but under our state is a gold mine of salt. The governor of michigan has the budget so screwed up, how can she cut, the fire and police budgets. our crime rate has gotten out of control, but I will bet her christmas party will go on, making the tax payer to foot the bill. she has not problem cutting the most important items and BLOWING our life needs. Thats a democrat for you.
  • by Joe Location: Jackson on Dec 12, 2010 at 11:08 PM
    More like our tax dollars are being wasted on other social programs that benefit a few and not everyone like plowing and salting the roads would. Especially the people who are needing to go to work to pay more taxes. Liberal politics is dangerous to our lives.
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