Hamilton County Highway Director Brad Davis said Hamilton County is well prepared no matter what kind of weather Mother Nature brings this winter.
The Hamilton County Highway Dept. filled its salt barns with salt at the end of the 2021 winter season, so supply chain issues isn’t expected to be a problem during inclement winter weather.
“So really, we’ve been carrying a full inventory all summer long,” Davis said. “If we have the budget left, we do that. So, we filled up early so we are good going into the winter.”
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton County Highway Dept. does have a shortage of workers. The department increased its hourly pay from $17.50 to $24.26 for winter seasonal help.
“We upgraded the rate of pay to attract people to help us out,” Davis said. “There’s not nearly enough (drivers) to go 24/7, so we have to hire supplemental people in the winter to do that.”
Although the county is in “pretty good shape right now,” Davis said it still is hiring drivers with a CDL license to drive salt trucks and snowplows this winter.
The Hamilton County Highway Dept. will use approximately 6,500 tons of pre-treated salt to cover 1,200 miles of roadway and bridges in the unincorporated areas of Hamilton County. Trucks also dispense a liquid with de-icing chemicals to assist if cold temperatures lower the effectiveness of salt. The county’s fleet consists of 14 snow trucks, two brine application trucks and nine pickup trucks.