It might not have been a snowstorm in Steuben County on Monday, but the Department of Public Works was out making sure the roads were clear.
“It’s the most important thing we do,” Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti said. “We have lives in our hands when it comes to snowplowing.”
For the 2017 calendar year, Public Works has a $2.8 million budget to cover all 683 miles of road in the county during the winter months which typically runs during the first 14 weeks and final seven weeks of the year.
Preparations began in the fall: New cutting edges were put on the plows and the barns have been filled with sand and salt.
Out of that $2.8 million budget, $1.2 million is designated to sand and salt. That gets you 45,000 tons or 2,400 loads. Break that down per truck and you’re looking at $500 worth of materials.
Due to a light winter this November and December, about $500,000 of the total budget is left for the remaining three weeks of the year which is plenty according to the department.
The leftover money does not roll over to the 2018 budget.
“It can be used in future years when the legislature comes up with a budget, and instead of putting $20 million in taxes, they take that surplus, and reduce the taxes by that much,” Spagnoletti said.
The sheriff’s office wants residents to remember to give themselves extra time in their commute, to wipe off all snow on their vehicle before driving, and remember that bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.
Public Works says if they’re doing anything wrong, you can call them at (607) 664-2474 to let them know.