Mild winter has VTrans fully stocked but plow drivers in demand
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The flakes are finally flying but as we know, snow has been few and far between this winter, and that’s changed things for VTrans crews.
VTrans says this winter they’ve used significantly less fuel and less salt which has offset the rising costs of both, helping keep a balanced budget.
If it continues to be mild, those funds could be used to fund repairs in the spring and summer.
Michael Booth with VTrans said while there has been ice and some cases of wintry mix, there has been less of a need for salt due to the mild temperatures compared to last year’s frigid January.
“The amount of put-out varies, it depends on temperature and snowfall rates, whether there’s ice involved. We follow the snow and ice control plan that we have. So that kind of dictates what road gets what treatment. Our higher volume rooms roads like the interstate and stuff, they get more salt to keep them open compared to a smaller, lower volume road,” said Booth.
At the start of this winter there was a concern over the supply chain and obtaining enough salt. Booth tells us all the salt needed for the winter is secured, and there won’t be a shortage like they originally thought.
But like many industries, staffing remains a concern.
“Our staffing has been a little tough in the northwest because we’re having a hard time hiring help up there. But we’re still in those voids with volunteers from other departments. We have some temporary employees that are doing a great job. They’re down, I think, 18 employees right now,” said Booth.
And despite the minor winter, Booth said there have been multiple occasions where the entire agency has been out both in preparation and helping during a storm.
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