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‘Odd weather’ leads to rising cost in materials and labor for Missaukee County Road Commission

The Missaukee County Road Commission has been busy this winter as sporadic weather conditions have led to an abundant use of resources.

These conditions have been evident for the past five winters. Kelly Bekken, manager of the Missaukee County Road Commission, says this climate causes more problems than solutions.

“This kind of weather doesn’t save any money,” Bekken said. “We’re using as much, or more, materials.”

One reason for this is the drastic changes in temperature around times that employees aren’t normally scheduled.

“We seem to be getting these supratic freezing rain and snow activity storms on weekends where we’re paying time and a half or holidays when we’re paying that same time or double time and a half,” explained Bekken.

Although temperatures sometimes rise above freezing, this has led to an increase in cost for the road commission. When the weather stays below freezing, the commission can use a more cost-effective mixture of sand and salt.

“[The weather’s] not good for anything,” said Bekken. “We have been increasing the amount we order over the past three or four years.

“Honestly, I’d like to say that should be going in the other direction because we are doing some other things to try and cut down on that salt usage like prewetting with calcium chloride. We started once it gets cold, once we get temperatures in the low 20s and stay there, we’re using more sand and salt mixed instead of pure salt.”

The road commission are responsible for plowing and salting the roads in Missaukee County drivers. Drivers plow the roads throughout the week and are on-call for inclement weather conditions on Fridays and Saturdays.

According to mcrc-roads.com, each driver plows approximately 50 miles of road after each snowfall. The commission asks residents to be patient before calling the road commission for an update on when your road will be plowed.

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Published by Andrew Lenzo

Editor and writer for the Eastern Echo.

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