More snow removal money sought in Baltimore County

February 02, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

The Hayden administration, which already has spent $1.25 million to keep the county's roads clear of ice and snow this winter, has asked the County Council for nearly $2 million more in storm emergency funds.

Part of the money, $960,000, would be used to pay bills already incurred during the storms that began Dec. 25. The other $1 million would give the county a cushion for any further storms.

The council is to vote on the administration's request at its Monday night meeting.

Half of the money would come from the public works budget, the rest from higher than expected revenue from real estate titling taxes.

At an informal work session yesterday, C. Richard Moore, the county highways chief, told the council that the county was nearly out of road salt Jan. 17, the day of the big snow-ice-rain storm that was followed by several days of subfreezing temperatures.

Trucks belonging to private contractors and to the county school board sat unused for a time because there was no salt for them to spread, he said. The county didn't have enough salt storage capacity to prepare for the storms, Mr. Moore said.

Mr. Moore called Jan. 19, "the day that nothing worked" and said it was a day he will never forget.

It was so cold that day that diesel fuel jelled in trucks' tanks, and there wasn't any salt to be had. Suppliers' diesel engines also broke down, and they could not deliver much salt or sand to the county because of the high demand. The sand that was delivered was frozen and could not be spread, and it was too cold for salt to melt ice.

The county has spread 36,625 tons of salt this winter, compared with 15,000 tons in 1991, 3,900 tons in 1992 and 18,000 tons in 1993. Mr. Moore said the county has 631 tons of salt and 8,300 tons of slag and sand on hand.

He and Merreen Kelly, the county administrative officer, said the county is planning to add more salt storage sheds but needs to double the current 10,500-ton capacity to deal with a weather combination like the one last month. The county had budgeted $56,700 for three 1,000-ton salt domes this year but has not built the domes.

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