Racine County keeping an eye on snow removal budget

RACINE CO. (WITI) -- Just two days into the new year and Racine County has already seen up to 10 inches of snowfall. Snow removal workers say they plan for the worst and hope for the best during the winter months, but are hoping they have enough momentum to carry through the end of the season.

As many as 30 pieces of equipment are on the roads removing snow, with employees working 12 hours on and 12 hours off. The Department of Public Works says in the event of a major snow storm, it costs about $50,000 to clear and salt the roads.

Officials say it's too early to tell if Racine County will be at or under budget for this season's snow removal. There are around $7 million in the county's public works budget, including snow removal, road maintenance and employee overtime.

"We don't say hey we're over budget so we're not going to plow the roads or put salt on the roads," said County Executive Jim Ladwig.

Ladwig says if 2014's winter runs over budget, the county would look into finding other ways to make ends meet.

"If somebody leaves, maybe you don't fill a position for four or six months, that type of thing," said Ladwig.

According to Ladwig, Racine County has had a surplus for the last three years, including $2 million from Public Works last year.

"Ultimately, we still have to fulfill our mission which is to make sure the roads are maintained and people can get from one place to another in a safe and timely manner," Ladwig said.

Although Racine County is looking at budgets on a weekly basis, Ladwig says they should be able to make a fair assessment of the county's finances after January or February.