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Denton still within budget for weather

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Bj Lewis / Staff Writers
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Bj Lewis / Staff Writers

Local governments seem to be weathering the winter financially — at least for now.

Even though it’s been a busy winter, with numerous trips for sand trucks and overtime to go with them, Denton County and the city of Denton are still within budget on meeting the winter’s demands, local officials said.

“We do budget for this, including the overtime, each year,” said Lindsey Baker, city spokeswoman.

Denton County and area cities spent a combined $1.2 million during the December ice storm, which gridlocked much of the county over a five-day stretch, said Denton County Emergency Services Director Jody Gonzalez.

The latest round of snow and icy conditions still has not put the county’s budget in the red, he said.

“It’s a little more than we anticipated, but with the amount of material we have, we’re still in good shape,” he said. “We did try to get the presidential [declaration] for the ice storm in December, but we didn’t [meet] a minimum threshold for a county to get a disaster declaration.”

City crews logged more than 1,900 man-hours over four days in the December ice storm and used more than 624 tons of sand, Baker said. The city dispatched all six of its sand trucks again Thursday to help motorists go where they need to go — and stop when they need to stop.

Gonzalez said the county’s budget may take a hit by the time all the winter activity finally comes to an end, but he would need to talk with the road and bridge departments and commissioners to know for certain.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjLewisDRC.