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Winter Wreaks Havoc For County Highway Dept.; Only 3 of 5 Plows Are Operating

County Engineer Kiefer Heiman informed the Washington County Board that the winter weather storms in January and February have had quite an impact on the county’s roadways.

Heiman said during the county board meeting on Tuesday, February 12, that the department has been running at fewer plows due to unexpected maintenance issues.

“If you are noticing a reduced amount of quality in the plowing in certain years, we’ve been having some mechanical issues and have been down to only three of our usual five plows,” Heiman said.

Heiman said his department is expecting to have all five plows running by the end of this coming week.

Heiman also said that the highway department has used about half of its salt source. He added that given the date and the typical winter season, he estimates that the county is “in pretty good shape.”

“We’ll have maybe a couple more ice storms,” he said. “Hopefully not, but if that is the case, then we should be in pretty good shape.”

Heiman also said that a barge of salt is ready to go in case the county finds its initial salt supply depleted. He said orders have already been placed.

Code Update Resolution Stalls For Lack Of Motion

Board member Eric Brammeier stated that the personnel committee is looking to update some of the old ordinances that are on the county books. One ordinance in particular was passed in 2000, and it calls for no county employee can hold more than one position with the county.

“It is a pretty hard line,” Brammeier said. “There are not a lot of loopholes or exceptions.”

A proposed change to the resolution would have added that “unless prior approval is granted by the department heads of the parties involved and the personnel committee of the Washington County Board.”

“It cleans things up a bit,” Brammeier said. “Several different scenarios played out but it gives a little bit more latitude to temporary problems.”

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