Last Week’s Winter Storm Hits County Road Department Hard

February 19, 2014

It seems the Elbert County Road Department is taking another one on the chin in terms of extra road maintenance costs.

Still a major topic of discussion, last week’s winter storm wrecked major havoc on Elbert County’s roads as many where impassable for a few days until the snow and ice began to melt.

Elbert County Administrator Bob Thomas says a topic to be discussed in the near future is the investment into some snow equipment.

“We have to look at whether it makes economical sense for us to go out and buy snow equipment when it comes once every ten years or so”, said Thomas. “That discussion will continue with our commissioners about what we need to do there.”

Thomas says that the county’s numerous dirt roads were one particular area that was hit hard by the storm.

“Because of the melting snow and the rain that came before that, and we are out now trying to make some of those repairs and making those smoother. We will be out putting gravel on top of those, and we are going to do our best to get those back in shape as quickly as we can”, said Thomas.

Factoring in overtime hours put in by the road department’s employees, the cost of sand, new blades for the county’s graders, and fuel costs; the additional expenses incurred by just the road department alone range from $13,000 – $14,000.

Despite that bleak news, Thomas commended the road department staff, Elbert County EMS, and the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office for their work during the storm.

“Would like to give them a plug, and the 911 Center, because they took a tremendous amount of calls, and our entire emergency services personnel did a fantastic job, and I want to commend them for what they have done as well”, stated Thomas.

Now Thomas says the financial hit from the storm will have an impact on the county’s budget, but said they will make the appropriate adjustments to make it through the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year.