Winter weather costs accumulating for northwest Alabama governments

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – It may be slightly easier to absorb the costs winter weather brings for larger cities, but for smaller governments the cost of snow and ice is mounting.

In Franklin County, leaders have to watch their checkbook while keeping the roads drivable. With every prediction of winter weather, Franklin County Probate Judge and Commission Chairman Barry Moore cringes.

“We’ve had enough winter weather,” Moore stated. “We’re ready for spring and summer to come. We’re tired of the cold weather.”

With each passing winter event, more money comes out of an already tight budget in Franklin County. Moore said when the snow hits three departments are activated and likely on overtime.

Although it’s mostly budgeted, the county must pay for extra work hours in the Highway Department, Sheriff’s Department, and Emergency Management Agency to keep the residents safe and the roads clear.

“Usually we don’t have that bad of a winters around here, but when you do and it may be prolonged for another week or two then that’s going to affect your budget later,” Moore explained.

And Moore said the county commission is watching the overtime and material costs closely as to not get in trouble later in the budget year.

Franklin County Highway Department officials said they are already making plans and deploying equipment to different areas around the county to respond to Wednesday’s threat.