Engineer hopes snow fall amount decreases
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
The winter snow removal is starting to add up, due to snow amounts already this season.
Jake Hotchkiss, Henry County engineer, informed the board during Tuesday’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting, “Snow and ice control has added about 16 percent to the roadway maintenance budget. We are now at about 41 percent of our budget, and I would say we are doing okay overall.”
The engineer wanted the board to know the percentage that snow and ice removal adds to the budget, so they were aware of the cost.
“I really hope that January and February are better for us,” Hotchkiss added.
He went on to explain that his crews also have to clean the trucks after each event, which causes extra work to be done.
“After each snow event, unless it’s back to back, we have to clean the equipment of all corrosive material. This would be the salt and what not,” explained Hotchkiss. “We spent most of last week and the week before doing snow removal and preparing for upcoming snow. We added sand to slick spots and have been using the motor grader on the roads as well to clear any snow that had been blown around.”
According to the engineer, Preston Ready Mix, who has been crushing rock for the county at the quarry, has completed about 102,000 tons of rock.
“Everything has been blasted and they are doing really well. They did fall a little behind because of weather and other issues, but they should be done within the next two weeks,” said Hotchkiss.
The engineer said Preston Ready Mix will crush a total of 150,000 tons of rock by the time they are finished.
“I’m really happy with the stockpile they have now and I think it will work really well for us,” he added.
The board approved, Merlin Boshart as maintenance superintendent, during the meeting. Since Boshart moved to superintendent, it created on open position for the operator II motor grader, which was then filled by Chase Klenk, and the board approved this as well.
“Boshart will take over duties as superintendent starting on Jan. 10, which is Matt Schinstock’s last day. With Boshart taking over those duties, we had Klenk express interest in the motor grader position. He will take over the duties of the Tippencanoe Township,” said Hotchkiss.
Hotchkiss informed the board of a vacancy at the shop for an equipment operator.
“I talked to our human relations person and since we received 70 applications when this job was open before, we are going to go through those again and set up some interviews. This way, we can save money on advertising and it will be a shorter time frame for the position to be open,” said Hotchkiss.
The board also approved a permit for Bob Welander to do some work in front of his property.
“We took a look at what he was wanting to do and we don’t see any problems with that. It won’t bother our right-of-way and he’s using a local contractor,” the engineer explained.
During the meeting, the engineer also:
• Asked for approval of the annual weed commissioner’s report (approved).
• Discussed maintenance work at the shop (the cleaning of the trucks).
• Mentioned the mechanic opening and informed the board of interviews that will be taking place soon.
The board still has not received final word on the solid waste site issue.
The supervisors will meet again on Thursday, Jan. 2, at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at the courthouse.