Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Late snow battle chews into budget


February 28, 2019

--State DOT photo

State crews use a Kodiak snow blower to chew through drifts clogging Highway 27 between Tekoa and Fairfield. The blower can cut an eight-foot swath through drifts and blow the snow away from the highway section. Crew here were at work under a blue sky to open the highway Tuesday. More wind and snow led to another shutdown Tuesday night.

Whitman County Public Works is now in its fourth week of consistent snow operations, its main costs coming from sand, salt, de-icer and overtime wages for plow drivers.

The county road department budgeted $629,000 this year for snow removal, with no figures yet available on what's been spent.

"We got to early February and thought winter was not gonna show up, and then it did," said Mark Storey, Public Works director.

The snow fund is part of the county's $6 million roads budget for the year, which comes from $4.5 million in state gas tax and $2.5 million in local road levy collections from...

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