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Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 8:15am

Winter Weather Proves Costly

Two early-season blasts of snow and ice in Georgia have meant lots of salt on the roads and long hours for road crews. And it’s costing millions across the state to keep roads clear.

Road clearing responsibilities are shared by the state department of transportation and local governments. For D-O-T’s share alone, a spokesman estimates the costs will reach 2.5 million dollars for December.

In Lumpkin County in hard-hit North Georgia, the costs for winter weather cleanup in December totaled more than $32,000 dollars. And that has Lumpkin County Manager Stan Kelley worried.

“We had, trimmed our budget over a million dollars, our 2011 budget, and of course part of that came out of our public works budget. So, we’re hoping that we don’t have any more winter weather in 2011 because we’ve cut it significantly.”

In the meantime, Lumpkin has ordered more salt after running out this weekend. Prices are higher now, though – $130 dollars per ton instead of $90 dollars.

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