Blizzard Adds A Flurry of Expenses to Knox County
By Echo Menges
More than a week after the massive snowstorm, which hit Knox County February 1 and 2, county employees were still clearing snow from some county roads. The county road crew worked practically non-stop from the beginning of the storm until the bitter cold end the following week when they finally finished the tedious task, Thursday, February 10, of opening at least one lane of every snow-covered county road.
According to the Knox County Commissioners the county has become accustom to getting the roads cleared from a single snowstorm in about two days at most. This time they spent ten long cold days from February 1 to the tenth clearing snow with one day off.
So far the Knox County Commissioners estimate from February 3 to 7 the county spent just over $43,000 on equipment, equipment repair and overtime from just that one storm. Nearly $33,000 was spent to keep the equipment fueled and running, $5,380.00 was paid for equipment repairs, and $4,828.50 was spent paying the ten county employees, who cleared the roads, their overtime wages. According to the Commissioners that money comes directly out of the counties Road and Bridge Fund, which they believe, has enough of a built-in cushion it will be able to absorb the shock of such a large unexpected expense.
The Missouri Department of Transportation also spent nearly $9,000 for state equipment and employees to help clear Knox County roads Saturday, February 5, pushing the grand total for Knox County up to over $52,000 in all. According to the County Commissioners MODOT’s expenses for helping the county will, fortunately, not have to be paid back by Knox County and at least that portion will be absorbed by the state.
Missouri did receive a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration following the snowstorm at the request of Governor Nixon. The declaration should make federal aid money available to Missouri cities and counties who qualify. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and State Emergency Management Administration (SEMA) representatives will be in Edina Wednesday, February 16, to meet with the Knox County Commissioners along with other local officials.READ MORE