Snow blankets Jefferson County7 inches of snow fell in 24 hours
Both the city of Fairfield and Jefferson County have an ample supply of salt and sand on hand, even though this winter has been snowy, icy and cold.
City, county and state crews have been plowing today and spreading salt and sand when needed. They had a lot of work to do considering the area received 7 inches of snow from noon Tuesday to noon today. The county has seven graders to plow and five trucks to apply a mixture of salt, sand and very small lime chips.
“The lime chips are barely bigger than grains of sand, but it helps with traction,” said Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline.
“We contract for materials in the summer and get bids,” he said. “We contracted for 400 tons, and we’re allowed to go over by 80 tons before we have to seek new bids.”
Cline said the county began the season with 100 tons of salt from the previous year.
“We’ve used 250 tons so far this winter, so we’re OK so far,” said Cline. “We still have more than 200 tons contracted. We just take delivery of a ton at a time because that’s how we store it.”
Jefferson County is responsible for 756 miles of county roads and 150 county bridges, according to the county engineer’s website. The roads are classified as: Dirt - 99 miles; gravel - 513 miles; sealcoat - 11 miles; concrete - 64 miles; and asphalt - 69 miles.
The State of Iowa is responsible for U.S. Highway 34 and State Highway 1.
Cline said the county Secondary Road Department has incurred some overtime due to winter weather.
“The crews were out working Saturday, and Tuesday they worked a little late,” he said. “They’ll still be plowing tonight and Thursday.”
His budget is planned to allow some overtime, so he is not concerned yet.
Mayor Ed Malloy said prior to Tuesday’s storm, the city had 175 tons of salt on hand.
“It’s estimated we’ll use about 40 tons of salt for this storm, now,” he said. “We can manage three or four more storms this size before needing to resupply.”
City Clerk Joy Messer said the city streets department has more overtime than usual during the past six weeks.
“It’s not too bad, an average of two hours, but a few people have 10 hours or 14 hours of overtime,” said Messer.