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Recent Snows Dip Into County Road Budgets, Robust From Mild December

Posted at 8:12 PM, Jan 31, 2013

Winter snow budgets may have taken a beating over the last couple of days, but there was plenty of money heading into this month due to a mild start to the season.

Ottawa County plow and salt truck driver Roger Olthof says they were keeping a good pace on the roads Tuesday.

“They’re not in too bad a shape right now,” said Olthorf in the middle of the afternoon. “I think last year was the mildest I’ve seen since Ive been here. I think this year is number two.”

Last year that meant there was money left over for other projects.

In the 2012 winter maintenance budget fiscal year, Ottawa County Road Commission Chair Tom Bird says they saved about $1 million dollars.

Kent County had reported a savings of around $1.5 million.

Alllegan County Managing Director Larry Brown said they had saved around $900,000.

Van Buren Country reported a savings of around $850,000.

Meanwhile, this winter season was on track to be another mild one.

“One of the things that really hits us hard is snow removal over the winter holidays, Christmas and New Year’s,” said Bird. “And we had no real major storms this year.”

Finance director Mike Mikita says Ottawa County had only spent around $178,000 by the end of December. That’s a month they could easily drop $1 million dollars.

It will be interesting to see how mother nature affects the bottom line in 2013.

“As of the first of January we were about a million dollars ahead of budget this year,” said Bird.

In Van Buren County, Gregg Pardike said it’s not unusual to spend about $25,000 a day on basic maintenance.

For The latest storm, Kent County Director of Maintenance Jerry Byrne says they will likely spend $250,000 over a 24 hour period.