So far, so good for Walworth County road budgets
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Don Kreft, assistant highway superintendent with the Walworth County Public Works Department, stands next to some of the road salt in storage at the DPW headquarters in Elkhorn. Terry Mayer/staff.
ELKHORN — Snow is a given in any Wisconsin winter, but predicting how much will fall is almost anybody’s guess.
“That’s the magic question,” said Shane Crawford, Walworth County’s public works director. “Last year was not a very fun winter to do maintenance. We got a fair amount of snow.”
Mark Wendorf, the city of Delavan’s public works director, estimated about 20 percent of his department’s 2010 total budget of $348,000 was used for snow removal. The public works staff of eight handles everything from road maintenance to grass cutting year-round. Wendorf said 2011’s budget and cost of snow removal will be close to last year.
Ron Carstensen, Lake Geneva’s street supervisor, said the city budgeted $110,000 for winter maintenance in 2010, with $40,000 allotted for a salt-sand mixture used on the city’s roads. He said the department’s budget was held to a zero percent increase for 2011, although contingency funding may provide some help if needed.
Last year, Walworth County’s estimated contract was 38,811 tons of salt, at a cost of $56.80 per ton. This year, the county’s estimated contract is for 33,054 tons of salt, at a slightly lower cost of $52.30 per ton.
The county has two storage domes in Elkhorn, each holding 14,000 tons of salt. It also has two satellite domes: one in East Troy that holds 4,000 tons and one in Darien that holds 3,000 tons.
“We’ve stacked them to the hilt,” Crawford said. “It’s a huge commodity for us and we don’t want to waste it.”
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.