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      Half million over budget

      About $ 1.2 million have been spent clearing and maintaining Delta Countyâ??s roads this winter.

      Annually Delta County has $2 million for roadwork. Typically around $700,000 of that is spent during the winter months, but this year they have spent much more.

      â??As we all know itâ??s been a pretty brutal winter, said Delta County Road Commission Interim Manager Jody Norman. â??Our costs have been pretty extreme. Weâ??re currently about $500,000 over our average winter maintenance costs.â??

      The heavier than normal snowfall has caused the county to go over budget, but they are working hard to minimize costs.

      â??Sometimes itâ??s been pretty intense,â?? said Delta County equipment operator Robert Thompson. â??Our last storm we put in 16 hours, some of us. And, some of us are trying to cover two plow routes. Weâ??re shorthanded and moneyâ??s tights.

      As the yearâ??s road budget dwindles, there will most likely not be enough funds for road improvement projects.

      â??Basically we are where we need to be just to maintain the roads,â?? Norman said. â??And after this spring I believe that weâ??re going to be in pretty big trouble.â??

      Delta County is already experiencing crumbling roads and deep potholes.

      Next year, the county foresees having fewer full-time employees and more part-time seasonal help in hopes of stretching their budget.