Snowy winter wipes out road budgets in small Minn. towns - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Snowy winter wipes out road budgets in small Minn. towns

Posted: Updated:
WHEATLAND TOWNSHIP, Minn. (KMSP) -

Small communities across the state are struggling to deal with this winter's demanding conditions, and many local budgets are being pushed to the brink as another blast of blowing snow sweeps in.

"It gets icy," plow operator Troy Schulte acknowledged. "There's no control once you hit a snow drift; no stopping it."

Fox 9 News rode along through the tiny township of Wheatland. The Rice County community has a population of 1,300, and it was battered by blizzard conditions on Wednesday.

"We have to keep it open for ambulance and fire trucks," Schulte said.

The blowing snow sent Schulte back out on the roads for another long shift in the cab of his truck.

"It's tough because the wind does blow so much on these roads," he said. "We're getting on it before it gets bad."

While all public works and road maintenance budgets are being pushed to the limit by this brutal winter season, and smaller governments seem to be hit the hardest.

"We're spending hours and hours removing snow," Lenny Laures, maintenance supervisor for a few townships near Rochester, said.

Laures explained that his communities have blown through their annual $25,000 sand budget, and they're already about $5,000 into next year's fuel allotment.

"We've had other bad winters, but I can't remember all the blowing snow being quite as bad," Laures said.

That blowing snow can turn a single snowfall into three plow runs, and all the labor and fuel is adding up. That's why townships are rallying together to ask for more transportation-related funding from lawmakers in St. Paul.

"Right now, we feel a little short. Our costs have gone up -- gravel has gone up, equipment costs have gone up, labor has gone up -- and, in general, we try to be tight in the township. We don't like to raise the levy too much," Gary Bruggenthies said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Urban Outfitters blasted over Kent State sweatshirt with 'blood splatters'

    Urban Outfitters blasted over Kent State sweatshirt with 'blood splatters'

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:28 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:28:48 GMT
    Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters is receiving harsh criticism for selling a sweatshirt with a splatter pattern resembling blood over the logo of a university where a famous school shooting took place.
    Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters is receiving harsh criticism for selling a sweatshirt with a splatter pattern resembling blood over the logo of a university where a famous school shooting took place.
  • St. Louis Park marathoner dies after finishing last mile in Boston

    St. Louis Park marathoner dies after finishing last mile in Boston

    Sunday, September 14 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-09-15 03:19:22 GMT
    Elinor Scott didn't let her cancer diagnosis keep her away from the Boston Marathon, but the bombs at the finish line stopped her at the 25th mile. In April, she went back to cross the finish line. On Friday, she passed on.
    Elinor Scott didn't let her cancer diagnosis keep her away from the Boston Marathon, but the bombs at the finish line stopped her at the 25th mile. In April, she went back to cross the finish line. On Friday, she passed on.
  • Adrian Peterson: 'I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser'

    Adrian Peterson: 'I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser'

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-09-15 20:48:37 GMT
    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson released a long statement Monday, punctuated by the following message: "I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser."
    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson released a long statement Monday, punctuated by the following message: "I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser."
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices