Amendment would help towns with snow removal costs

The state house has proposed a plan to help counties struggling with snow removal costs this year.

It has been a tough season for road crews across the state.

“It’s just been an interesting winter and an interesting spring,” Morton County engineer John Saiki said.

The expenses have piled up. There is overtime pay for the plow drivers.

“This winter, we had a lot of Friday, Saturday and Sunday work. A lot of night work,” Saiki said.

Maintenance costs are also higher. 

“We had a lot of repairs that we had to make and a lot of maintenance. That goes along with running the equipment 10-14 hours a day,” he said.

So state lawmakers want to help. An amendment has been added to the National Guard budget that would provide about $8.1 million dollars for non-oil producing counties across the state. A township could be eligible for $5,000 to cover snow removal and flood response expenses.

“It’s really expensive to take care of those things this spring so most of the counties needed help,” Rep. Jeff Magrum (R-District 28) said.

His district has been hit especially hard. Ashley alone has seen more than 110 inches of snow this year.

“I think a lot of them have a little reserve hopefully because it can really be hard on most of the small towns,” Rep. Magrum said.

Lawmakers still need to approve the final budget amendment.

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