Counties low on salt & money for roads

Monroe, MICH (WXYZ) - In Monroe County, Road Commission workers are worn out. Forget weekends. Crews have only had 5 days total off total since December 27th.

"It wears on them," said Randy Pierce, Managing Director of the Commission.

His bigger concern is those workers who are sacrificing flexibility to keep the roads safe will get bad news later.

"You can't budget for a winter like this," said Pierce. "It has been storm after storm."

The county, like others, is also running out of salt. Because so many are trying to buy salt, the price has skyrocketed about 250%.

Pierce says the county's budget can handle another 6 storms, then it starts dipping into funds meant for road improvements.

"Manpower is the only place in the budget to cut, and if we lay people off we don't have all the people we need to complete road projects over the summer."

It is a story heard across the state.  

Pierce says he has talked to lawmakers about how road funding needs to be changed. He said the funds need to be increased, even if it means higher taxes. 

He also thinks his county is hurt by how funds are distributed, saying population is considered too much, that more emphasis needs to be put into just how many miles of roads a county handles.

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