Cities and counties spending beyond expected snow removal budget

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL)- This winter some local highway departments have already spent thousands of dollars over their salt budgets for the year.

“Already this year I’m having to transfer funds from other line items in the budget to move in to salt,” Greene County Road Superintendent David Weems said.

In Greene County, the budget for salt was set at $25,000, but then this January and February hit.

“We’ve exceeded our budget, and after this snow I’m probably going to have to move more if I replenish my salt pile before next year,” Weems said.

He said they’ve already spent nearly double the original budget.

“We’ve spent about 45,000 at this point and I expect to move another 20,000 probably so 65/70,000 dollars in salt this year,” Weems said.

He said that money may eventually have to come out of future road repairs.

“We expect some damage from all this snow and cold weather on the roads so that’s not going to be good,” Weems said.

And over in Washington County, a bigger budget but the same story.

“We’re over budget right now,” Washington County Highway Superintendent John Deakins said.

The budget was $68,000 and they’ve had to find $40,000 more.

“It’ll make $108,000,” Deakins said.

He said they did not go over budget last year though the snow events started earlier in the season.

“A snow like this one where we started yesterday around, I think we started calling people in around 1 or 2 o’clock when it started snowing and we worked until 9 or 9:30 last night and then we came in at 5 o’clock this morning running today and so this is the type of snow that takes a lot of material,”Deakins said.

And over in Kingsport, Ronnie Hammonds, the streets and sanitation manager said they budgeted just a little over $200,000 and they have already spent about $300,000 on treating the roads.

Sullivan County also said it has also had to move funds around to pay for salt this year

With only so much budget to be moved around, “We hope spring is on the way,” Weems said.

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