OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.— Before this weekend’s storm, the Ottawa County Road Commission says it was already over 70 percent through its budget for the entire winter season.
That budget pays for clearing, sanding and salting roads. During a typical year, the County Road Commission will use about 20,000 to 25,000 tons of salt and 14,000 to 18,000 tons of sand, leading to a bill that can total $2 million- $3 million annually. As of Jan. 10, 2014, the Ottawa County Road Commission already blew through $1.85 million of its $2.6 million budget. The cost of salt isn’t helping; the Road Commission says the price per ton has nearly doubled since 2003.
During winter, the Ottawa County Road Commission operates 62 snow plows out of four garages located in Coopersville, Grand Haven Township, Hudsonville and Holland Township. It can take the team up to three days to clear all Ottawa County roads after a typical snow storm.