Road commission compares plow seasons

Road commission compares plow seasons

ISHPEMING — With Thursday’s blustery weather, one might think there’s no end in sight for winter.

But the Marquette County Road Commission said that this winter averages out to roughly the same as any other winter. They’re using about the same amount of sand and salt, and send out the same number of plows.

“Mainly it’s business as usual and just kind of a normal winter, you know: plow, sand, plow again, sand again,” said Michael Harrington, the Director of Operations and Maintenance at MCRC.

While November’s record breaking snowfall may have people thinking this is a record breaking winter, Harrington said that’s not the case. The winter budget isn’t affected so much by how much snow has fallen, but how many times crews have to go out and clear it.

In the end, the amount of snowfall tends to average out from winter to winter.

The Road Commission is prepared if things were to get a little less than average. When many organizations start their fiscal year in January, they start a little later.

“We changed our fiscal year to begin in October and the reason for that is so that we can make sure that we have enough money to pay for all our winter activities: plowing, sanding, salting, hiring extra people. And then when spring rolls around we say, ‘okay we have enough money to do maybe a paving project or two or change some culverts,’ and then we plan our summer maintenance accordingly to what we spent in the winter,” Harrington added.

Harrington added that they’ve spent about the same amount this year as in previous years.

In addition, he said the Road Commission has plenty of salt and sand to make it until spring.