Stormy weather hammered township’s roads budget

Like many of his counterparts across Wellington County, Centre Wellington’s Public Works Director Ken El­der has seen the recent miser­able weather clobber his roads budget for winter maintenance.
Elder said in an interview prior to Monday night’s council meeting that the weekend saw “a huge snowfall – over eight inches.”
To make things worse, El­der said part time staff are not due to start working until Dec. 20, which is closer to the average time for winter crews. “We have been pulling people in as well as we could,” he said. “We haven’t had this much snow this early in the year” for many seasons.
And, Elder said, there is little good News for the rest of this week. His men starting dealing with miserable weather on Nov. 26 and he said the crews are doing 13 hours per day just to keep roads cleared.
“We’re not expecting it to end until [this] Friday,” he said.
Elder said there was some frustration involved. For ex­am­ple, on Thursday night, crews removed snow from the main street of Fergus in order to ac­commodate the Santa Claus parade on Saturday.
But, by Sunday, he said, “You’d never know we were over there.”
During the council meeting, Elder said, “We don’t have all the bills in, but we’re running pretty tight to budget.” He noted in November this year he was forced to order more salt. Last year, he ordered that next load in January.
“It’s been a tiring experi­ence and a busy week,” Elder concluded.
Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said that the current weather is sometimes the price the town­ship pays for a good break. She noted that last winter, major snowfalls did not arrive until February.