TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – The rough winter weather is keeping the crews and plows busy this season. When Tippecanoe County sees significant snowfall, the Tippecanoe County Highway Department has no problem hiring extra help.
Tippecanoe County Highway Department Executive Director Opal Kuhl said for the first time, they’ve hired private contractors.
“I think both storms, we’ve had four subcontractors. We’ve used them mainly in the subdivisions. It just depends on where the snow is and where we feel we have the most need,” said Kuhl.
The Jan. 5 and Feb. 4 storms were the two occasions where the extra plows were needed.
“These two big storms, the pick-ups worked to a certain degree in the subdivisions. Sometimes we still have to have a truck go back in to do some cleaning too. So, we just have them on an on call basis. We call them when we need them,” Kuhl explained.
Kuhl said the Jan. 5 storm cost Tippecanoe County about $291,000 and about $30,000 of that went to subcontractors, which is about 10 percent of the storm total.
“It seems when you get above 9 or 10 inches [of snow], then we need some extra help,” said Kuhl.
Kuhl said it was worth the price because they are able to clean off the roads in a timely manner.
“We have about 22 large trucks and eight pick-ups of our own. So, we have been adding to that and have about 40 vehicles out there working. So, that really helps us,” added Kuhl.
Kuhl said hiring private contractors has been successful this year. The Tippecanoe County Highway Department plans on using them again next year if needed.