Another winter storm is at our doorstep and the city of Grand Junction is already over its budget for street maintenance.
Almost non–stop snow in the valley has the city of Grand Junction road crews working round the clock; dumping around 400,000 lbs of road salt, costing the city nearly $30,000 per storm and leaving the streets department over its budget.
Streets Manager with the city of grand Junction Darren Starr says, "we have to have it to keep the roads drivable for the public, that's our responsibility. So no ones going “oh my gosh we're spending so much money,” it's something we have to do." Starr says Grand Junction's Street Maintenance Department is about $30,000 over its budget and with new budget money not coming in until late next week, they may slip into an even deeper deficit. Starr says, "for the past two weeks we've been placing orders everyday just to keep product in here and try to stay ahead of it."
The city has been preconditioning bridges with magnesium chloride and cutting back by about 50 pounds of salt per lane mile to try and stretch it's resources. The city says that it will increase the amount of salt and magnesium chloride laid down if necessary. Another expense eating at the budget is the new Riverside Parkway. Starr says that since the road is so new no salt can be used to clear it up, only magnesium chloride.
The new budget will take effect next week which means more money for snow removal.