A costly winter for county road crews means a tight summer budge - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

A costly winter for county road crews means a tight summer budget

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If you think you had a rough winter, talk to any of Scioto County's road repair supervisors.

Road crews have gone from bitter cold, to hot with very few dollars to spare. 

Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman says his crews are on the trailing end of paving and patching 414 miles of county road. 

So, how do local drivers think those crews did keeping roads clean and safe during the winter?

A driver told us, "I think they did a wonderful job.  Here locally, an excellent job.  Going down any county road, they were terrible." 

The county engineer says winter road bills ran ten times that of the year before, from about $35,000 to more than $350,000.

Opperman adds, "We had a lot of hours in snow and ice control.  Costs that we have to adjust to during the rest of the season."

Craig Opperman says they had to help them neighboring counties to keep the public roads safe.

Opperman says the ten-fold winter costs, plus fighting and funding a winter salt shortage, means less money for summer projects as the fiscal year ends.

"We will focus on emergency repairs and make sure we get them taken care of," Opperman said.

One driver said "With the budget allowed, [the road crews did] an amazing job.  There are a lot of roads to keep up.  Somebody has said something to get them to get on it." 

That winter salt shortage was both regional and nationwide, so don't be surprised if your county has a tight summer road repair budget as well.

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