Winter costs county $176,000

According to Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman, his office spent $176,791.81 during the winter of 2015-2016, keeping the county roads free of snow.

Opperman used a different approach to melting the snow on a small portion of area roadways as an experiment on a small portion of county roadways.

Opperman and his crew tested the use of Beet Heat on the use of some county roads. Beet Heet is a sugar beet, molasses-based product designed to increase rock salt’s capacity.

Opperman said the product works in lower temperatures that can be used as a additive to road salt.

When asked about the use of the Beet Heat product, earlier this year Opperman said,” Our drivers are saying, they’re seeing an improvement (when using Beet Heat). We’re not adjusting the amount of salt used, we’re using it as extra. We’re not only seeing this as a potential savings, but a faster melt.”

During the winter of 2015-2016 nearly $670 was spent for 585 gallons of Beet Heat. It’s uncertain if the use of Beet Heat met expectations and its use increased.

Other costs of winter for the county includes the purchase of 2,570.5 tons of grits for $17,000.50. There were 1,335.5 tons of salt purchased for $106,237.80 and 12 tons of sand for $22.80.

County engineer crews worked 1,185.16 hours costing $38,276.96, there were 474.40 overtime hours costing $14,586.85.

In 2015 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) you may want to consider washing the underside of your vehicle.

The issuance of the NHTSA report concluded a five-year investigation into rusting pipes that carry brake fluid in about 5 million older Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC pickups and SUVs, without seeking a recall.

The agency blamed the problem on rust caused by road salt and a lack of washing.

The NHTSA’s report underscores the importance of washing salt from beneath a car because over time, it can cause suspension parts, the frame, or other components to corrode and fail.

The agency urged people to get their car and truck undercarriages washed several times during and after the winter, and to get their brake lines inspected for rust and replace if necessary.

Opperman said he’s still evaluating the use of Beet Heat on county roadways, he initial indications show it could be a viable product to use given the right conditions.

With manpower and material costs, this past winter cost $176,91.81.

For more information about the office of Scioto County Engineer visit

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT