Road maintenance costing 40% more

January 10, 2019

By John Raffel

It’s been a different type of winter than Osceola County Road Commission manager Luke D. Houlton has seen in the past.
Area schools faced cancellations earlier in the week. And the road commission had some work to do to make the roads safer.
But it’s not like people were spending a lot of time clearing snow off the sidewalks, driveways and roadways.

“While we have had relatively less snow through the end of December 2018, our winter maintenance costs are up about 40 percent from this time last year,” Houlton said. “I believe this mostly being driven by the type of winter weather we’ve had to date. Generally, we have had more icy situations to deal with rather than snow to push. This would explain why our salt usage is also up about 16 percent from last year. The timing of the storm events has also had an impact on our costs. We have worked a little over three times the amount of overtime as we did through the end of December 2017.

“By the numbers, our winter maintenance costs from October through December 2018 are $354,715 compared to $253,228 over the same period in 2017. Overtime hours over the same time period in 2018 is 320 hours compared to 100 hours in 2017. Salt usage for the last quarter of 2018 was 1,135 tons compared to 980 in 2017. Another factor is salt costs are up roughly 40 percent from last year.”

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