“We always plan for the worst case," Grand Haven Public Works Director Bill Hunter said. "If it’s not as bad, you are able to save. Trying to predict the weather is impossible.”
While the season has so far been relatively light, local officials say that could turn on a dime.
“It was like this last December, but then we got hit hard in mid-January and February,” Hunter said. “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
The city has budgeted $302,925 for winter maintenance in all of its street funds for 2012-13. In 2011-12, only $144,247 was spent on winter maintenance in the city.
The city has more than 60 miles of roadway designated as major or local streets, depending on the type and amount of traffic. The city also receives reimbursement from the state for the maintenance of Beacon Boulevard as a state trunk line.
The Ottawa County Road Commission is also preparing for whatever Old Man Winter throws at us.
“We budgeted $3.8 million for winter maintenance this year,” said the Road Commission's finance director, Mike Makita. “Last year, we spent $2.2 million.”
Managing Director Brett Laughlin said the Road Commission saved more than $1 million last winter due to the weather.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.