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County may exceed road salt budget

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By Jesse Osbourne

 

Old Man Winter isn’t watching his salt intake this season.
With several snowfalls already this year, the Washington County Road Department is taking a hit.
County Road Supervisor Albert Wimsatt said the department has already spent nearly $14,000 on salt this season.

Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles said the county budgeted $20,000 for this fiscal year.
Wimsatt said the county is in good shape right now, but if snow comes like meteorologists are predicting, more salt will need to be ordered.
So far this season the county has ordered 200 tons of salt at $67.25 a ton. They started the year with a full shed of salt.
“It’s more than likely we’ll overrun our salt budget,” Wimsatt said.
In other salt truck news, Wimsatt said four of the salt boxes were recently sand blasted and repainted. The beds of most of the salt trucks were all painted, along with oil tanks, running boards and snow plows.
A new salt storage building could also be on the horizon.
Money was once set aside for a metal and wood building to store the salt. An amount between $27,000 to $32,000 was set aside for the building, but was later used for other emergencies, according to Settles.
In Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, Settles proposed to the court that they accept bids for large hoop buildings to store the salt and possibly other materials.
Settles said research done by himself and Wimsatt indicated that a hoop building covered in fabric could serve the same purpose as a metal and wood building, but at less than half the cost.
Magistrate Terry Tingle made a motion to accept bids, magistrate Benjamin Settles seconded the motion.