The battle between
Porter County and Mother Nature in one of the snowiest winters on record
proved a costly one with $1,876,740 total in labor costs and supplies from
November to March, according to figures from the Porter County Highway
Superintendent David James said the good news for the County is that the
costs were paid entirely with state funding rather than from the County’s
General Fund which is supported by local property tax.
receives its money from the Indiana Motor Vehicle Highway Fund and Local
Road and Street Fund, said James. Those funds get their revenues from the
state’s current gas tax.
Breaking down the
total from Nov.1 to March 31, James said labor made up a large majority of
the cost with $1,323,374 which includes roughly $130,000 in overtime. For
all materials such as road salt and fuel, the figure came to $553,366, he
The County Council
has already approved money for the overtime costs, James said. The Highway
Department will be before the Council at its meeting next week for an
$80,000 additional in the Motor Vehicle Fund to cover costs of depleted
supplies, snow plow repairs and insurance.
Comparing this year
to last, James said he was surprised to see there was not much difference.
The money spent from November 2012 to March 2013 by the highway department
was $1,589,394, which is about $300,000 less despite a significant
difference in the amount of snowfall between the two years.
James said other
counties around the state have also reported huge costs in excess of $1
million to keep roads clear. The state last year allocated more funds to
Transportation which will be of aid to counties, he said.
In a related
matter, the Highway Department discussed with the County Commissioners
Tuesday the building of an indoor facility to store salt at its property on
Ind. 8 near Hebron. Highway Superintendent Al Hoagland said the state passed
a new law requiring counties to keep their salt indoors.