Updated: Monday, 21 Feb 2011, 7:43 PM EST
Published : Monday, 21 Feb 2011, 7:43 PM EST
VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - Snow and ice storms this winter have turned into budget busters for many road and street departments in the Wabash Valley.
Many cities and counties have eaten up so much on salt, fuel and overtime clearing roadways that they may not be able to do as much paving as they had planned.
For one southern Indiana county this winter has turned out to be a little less expensive than they anticipated.
Knox County has had its share of problems with snow and ice this winter, but officials say they have had some luck as well.
The last big blast of winter that paralyzed much of the Wabash Valley blew just north of here.
"Really, we got a little ice in the northern part of out county but a majority of the county didn't get the majority of the ice," said Knox County Commissioners President Kevin Meyer.
Road crews in the past would spend about $20,00 per storm removing snow from the roads.
This year with a new home-made pre-treatment system that uses a combination of brine and beet juice the crews have been able to clear the same miles of road at one quarter of the cost.
"It's been very helpful," said Meyer, "and it has lowered out cost, and we've been fortunate."
Every dollar the county doesn't spend on snow removal is another dollar that can go toward rock and asphalt to repair the roads, but right now there is no plan to expand the paving schedule.
That's because there's a lot winter that still could come this way.
"We hope the weather is over with," said Meyer. "We're all ready for spring."
For now the plows are staying handy and the trucks remain ready in case winter hits southern Indiana again.
Indiana Homeland Security officials say they are now evaluating the damages from the latest winter storm to see if the state can submit a request for federal disaster aid.
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