Not surprisingly, so far this winter, the city of Batesville and Franklin and Ripley counties have spent much more than usual on snow removal, with mountains of salt the greatest expense.
Batesville employees have gone through 330 tons of that white stuff. How is the supply holding up? "We are down to about 135 tons of salt, which would last approximately two or three more bad storms," estimated Tim Macyauski, director of operations for Batesville street and building departments.
"We have just ordered another 100 tons" costing $63.79 per ton, according to him.
Batesville clerk-treasurer Ron Weigel explained how a mild winter, like last year's, can financially help a more harsh season later. "We will sometimes use (money) out of the salt budget funds to increase our salt supply so we have enough on hand for the start of the next season. For the start of 2013, we spent $19,453 for salt. So far this year, we've spent $2,855."
Plowing overtime dollars have mounted up to $4,057 so far, the clerk-treasurer said. "A lot of the plowing has been done during normal work hours." Forty-one hours of overtime by wastewater treatment plant manager Randy Jobst and Macyauski are not included because they are salaried.
The director pointed out, "We have not had to work around the clock like they would have done several years ago when we got 20-24 inches at one time. The longest stretch that we have worked at any one time this year is 13 hours." Unfortunately, the 2013-14 storm events "have happened a lot on the weekends."
Weigel said, "We anticipate that there's going to be overtime for snow removal," so $10,000 (which comes from property taxes that are allocated to the state's Motor Vehicle Highway Fund) was budgeted for 2014. If that amount is exceeded, "we'd have to look at (slashing) other line items in the budget."