Starke County Highway Department Readies for Winter

 It’s only the first week of August, but officials with the Starke County Highway Department are already planning for winter. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners this week the county’s salt cost has gone down significantly over last year. The county piggybacks on the state’s bid and is able to realize considerable savings as a result. Ritzler says the price per ton has gone down from $73.62 to $65.32. If this winter is comparable to last year’s, he says that will save the county about $10,000.

Ritzler says the highway department is also installing pavement sensors in their supervisor trucks. They will measure the temperature of the pavement, which is a key to properly treating it for the weather conditions. Ritzler says this will also save the county money by ensuring chemicals are not wasted.

Winter plow training is scheduled Oct. 15th in Plymouth and in November at the county highway garage. Ritzler has also contacted the three local school systems to discuss plow routes and any concerns they may have. He says their immediate concern is brush along county right-of-ways that might affect visibility for buses. Ritzler says crews are continuing to catch up on trimming operations, which were hampered by rainfall earlier in the season. Paving is also continuing throughout the county.