News

Winter in Washington County came with a $555,000 price tag during first quarter

GTNS file photo

Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius explained winter in Washington County came at a $555,000 cost so far for the first quarter of 2019.
GTNS file photo Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius explained winter in Washington County came at a $555,000 cost so far for the first quarter of 2019.

Winter weather had a big impact on Washington County both physically and financially. At the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 7, Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius explained the cost of snow removal for the first quarter, January, February and March, of 2019 was $555,098.09.

“The biggest impact of the first quarter of 2019 was the weather,” he said.

Because of the weather, no pipes were replaced during the first quarter but rock was hauled by county forces as soon as conditions were fit. Paved roads were cold patched in March, but frozen roads in January and February minimized the work able to be done on granular roads. Once March rolled around and the roads began to thaw, crews saw frost boils and worked to drill holes and lay clean rock to allow the water to drain.

So far in 2019, county crews used a little less than 50 tons of salt, about 2,200 tons of salt and sand mix, worked more than 3,300 regular hours, just less than 350 overtime hours, more than 1,500 compensation hours and about 4,300 equipment hours.

“Winter was a big expense this year,” he said.

Additionally, Thorius announced Washington County was recognized by the paving association in February for being the sixth county in the state of Iowa for completing 200 miles of concrete paving.

“Ironically, the stretch of Riverside Road that hit us over the 200 mark was also the first stretch of road that gave us our first mile with the paving that (then Washington County Engineer) Bob Huber did in 1961,” he said. “It’s kind of the alpha and the omega ... so that was nice.”