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Road Commission funds decrease due to mild winter, pandemic

The lack of snow basically shifts money and work from Winter Operations to Maintenance.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 3:34 PM EST
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DICKINSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) -The roads are no longer covered with snow and for much of the winter that was the case in Dickinson County.

The Dickinson County Road Commission director Jim Harris, says that lack of snow basically shifts money and work from Winter Operations to Maintenance.

“We had put up several thousand tons of gravel and we were finally able to put it on some of the primary roads. That was a real benefit to be able to do that kind of work we normally cannot get to,” he explained.

Harris says the commission didn’t have to use nearly as much salt this year either, which will mean a reduction for next, but it also helped decrease wear and tear on machines.

“We’ll definitely see a small savings, because we won’t have to restock as much as this winter but with limited dollar figures,” he said.

Harris says overall the commission only saved about $40,000 in 2020; but he does have some concerns for the upcoming year, because the pandemic has impacted the overall budget, more than the lack of snow.

“We’re anticipating things to remain really flat for the past two years, and you’re going to probably see increased fuel costs which again is more of an expenditure for us,” said Harris.

Even with a reduced fund balance of about $600,000, Harris says the Commission is still on track to complete four township paving projects, three bridges, and a guardrail upgrade on county road 607.

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