Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 19, 2013

Snow removal cost estimate provided

The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Snow removal cost Jefferson County $53,500 earlier this month, according to Highway Engineer Brandon Simmons.

Simmons provided the cost estimate during Wednesday’s Highway Committee meeting.

Simmons said the county used approximately 400 tons of salt on Jefferson County highways, but still has about 90 percent of its salt supply, or about 1,500 tons, remaining. He added 250 tons could be ordered before June, when supplies are replenished.

“We’ve got enough salt to have at least four more big events like the last one,” Simmons told committee members. “I don’t think we will, but if we have more events, I think we’ll be okay.”

The cost breakdown includes $24,400 for the salt supply, $12,167 for labor — which includes seven employees — $5,037 in fringe benefits and just under $3,000 for fuel for the six days the crews were out clearing county roadways. Simmons estimated there was about 20 hours of overtime paid to each employee.

Simmons reported during the storm there were several mechanical breakdowns while crews were battling the snow removal, although all trucks and other equipment are currently in working condition.

In providing project updates, Simmons said three bridge projects are on schedule, and should go out for bids in June. They include: Panzier Lane, Falcon Lane and Goshen Lane. He also indicated the Stratton Road project — the county is installing an access road for farmers — is also on target with an environmental assessment currently underway.

There was some discussion about the sheriff’s department being in arrears of approximately $13,000 for the payment of fuel, although Board Chair Robert White indicated it probably is a cash flow problem.

Board member Jim Laird responded, “You know what I’m getting at. If we’re going to put two deputies on the road, but they can’t pay their gas bill, I don’t know.”

The monthly fuel bid was awarded to SynEnergy, the low bidder, at 3.0482 cents for biodiesel and 2.5534 cents for gasohol. The bid is good from Dec. 26 through Jan. 27.