During the first meeting of the Starke County Commissioners to open 2019, Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler reported light winter operations due to the lack of snow. Ritzler said the picture changed drastically after that report and the information was completely opposite in his most recent update.
“The mild weather in December – as you know we reported last month we saved about $78,000 in snow and ice removal. If you look at the comparison in 2018 and 2019 in January, we went $68,000 more this month. It really highlights how our budget has to be flexible and weather really dictates our spending. I couldn’t highlight that more than in the last two months.”
Ritzler noted that crews worked 26 days in a row, but found relief this past weekend with warmer temperatures.
In an asset management chart compiled by the new Asset Manager with notes submitted by Ritzler, new drivers improved and the wet snow proved to be hard on the mailboxes. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the subzero temperatures caused precautions to keep trucks operating as drifts formed from winds. The overall performance and attitude of the drivers was rated as excellent.
Crews continue to maintain equipment in between storms and monitor roads with snow melt and rainfall.
The commissioners expressed their appreciation to the highway department and all emergency services for their efforts during the inclement weather experienced in January.