State Asks for $180,875 Snow Plowing Help

Here’s what the McHenry County Board’s Transportation Committee will consider today:

McHenry County plows will remove snow from parts of three state highways this winter.

McHenry County plows will remove snow from parts of three state highways this winter.

On September 19, 2016, MCDOT was approached by representatives from IDOT with a proposal to assist IDOT with winter operations on approximately 118 lane miles of State Highways.

Three (3) other counties located in State District 1 were also approached with the same proposal (DuPage, Kane & Lake Counties).

MCDOT put together a strategic plan focusing on State Highways segregated to the northwest corner of the County.

By focusing on the NW portion of the County, MCDOT feels the transition of the traveling public will be less dramatic.

This will also assist the Sheriff when issues arise as to who is maintaining this part of the County.

The MCDOT’s assistance will be accomplished through the extension of existing routes, the addition of another plow route, adding an existing plow truck and the use of seasonal staff.

This plan would accommodate the handling of 72.35 lane miles of the proposed amount previously requested by IDOT.

2016/17 winter season snow & ice removal operations will take place on the following State Highways:

  • Illinois Route 173 from Boone County Line to Illinois Route 47
  • Illinois Route 14 from Wisconsin State Line to Illinois Route 23
  •  Illinois Route 47 from Wisconsin State Line to Charles Road

On September 23, 2016 representatives from McHenry, DuPage & Kane Counties all met in Lake County. Highlights from the meeting are as follows:

  • All county agencies share same passion for the safety of the traveling public
  • Best interest to offer whatever we can
  • Environmentally more sound to assist with the prevention of hard pack snow

At the October 19, 2016 Transportation Committee meeting, the IDOT request for McHenry County snow plowing services was discussed.

Direction was received from the Transportation Committee to move forward with the IDOT request and to bring forward an agreement.

The State will reimburse the MCDOT $2,500/lane mile (total $180,875).

= = = = =
$57,500 of additional seasonal staff will need to be hired. Expenses, including captial, is expected to be reimbursed by the state.


State Asks for $180,875 Snow Plowing Help — 9 Comments

  1. In the private sector, a contractor would require a bank commitment to pay or an escrow, the State does not have any money, we all know that…does the County Board?

    Good luck with that one.

    Another shell game.

  2. Will the county ever get paid the money from the state or just get thrown on the IOU list?

  3. It’s time to consolidate IDOT secondary roads, almost all state roads in the county, into a similar model as Wisconsin, County, Township, or Municipal maintained.

    IDOT is housed in Woodstock, McDOT is NW of Woodstock, long travel times slow down the process, especially for the SE corner of the county which adds to cost, add union wages…..

    Township’s could take over some of the state and county roads in their areas, and the Municipalities their sections of the state and county roads.

    This would reduce travel times saving on wages, fuel, and etc, plus the quality of maintenance would improve.

    Put all the County, Township, and Municipal road maintenance heads, “Foremen’s”, in the same room for a few meetings and a much better plan for all will most likely be the result.

    Public Works Directors and Twh Highway dudes can argue the funding, then present the plan for all to see and discuss.

    Cut IDOT Woodstock road crews to ZERO, maybe they will be happy to take a pay cut and work for one of the other gov agencies.

  4. again WHY is IDOT asking our counties for help????

    What is the driving force on this request?

    Who, What, Where, From?


  5. Hi friends,

    I wanted to Respond to you LTResident and give you the who and the how and the where and the what.

    I attended the McHenry County Board Transportation Committee meeting this morning because I had read this on the agenda and was giving a WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT myself.

    IDOT and the State of Illinois is pushing this – the state is broke and the state cannot afford the maintenance of “some” their vehicles so they are scaling back their routes.

    This was not an idea from McHenry County, The McHenry County Department of Transportation, or the Township Highway Commissioners.

    It sucks for our county (Lake, Kane, and DuPage are also feeling the pain).

    Basically, IDOT said we are reducing plowing these roads so you better come up with a game plan before the snow flies.

    Good luck!

    The County Engineer has an excellent map of the new routes that we will be plowing and has, in my opinion, a good game plan going in.

    Now, realize this contract is for LANE MILES and NOT HIGHWAY MILES.

    This means we are actually getting $5k per mile of state route plowed… but wait… it gets worse.

    McHenry County had to add additional staff and we are already in a property tax crisis… but it gets worse…

    We are using our own salt in the beginning of the contract.

    That is to say before the “Great State of Illinois” gives us more cash we have to blow through the $180,875 in salaries and salt.

    This means that after we spend all the state aide we can go back to IDOT and ask for more money.

    So in other words – the McHenry County Taxpayer is getting a double.

    It is a giant mess.

    Especially if we have a hard winter.

    Here we have another unfunded mandate from Springfield that we, the taxpayer, must pick up.

    This is a public safety issue and I will be voting for this when it hits the board floor.

    We will have to find other cuts in the budget to make up for this $180k shortfall.

    As usual – feel free to call me at (850)866-0155 if you have any questions.

    Andrew Gasser

  6. I’m a private snow contractor.

    The average application of salt is 800-1000 lbs per storm per lane mile.

    We average 30 applications per season.

    Salt on the private sector is running $75 per tone and I would be surprised if you can’t but it below $67 given the volume purchased.

    Doing the math that’s a salt cost of around $1100.

    For the season.

    Traveling at 30 mph average, 118 lane miles, is 4 hours per clearing.

    40 inches of snow average for the season with a clearing every inch is 160 hours for the season to plow and another 120 to salt/make the final pass on a storm.

    That’s 280 hours, and you can add 20% for overage/maintance, equals 336 hours.

    If the cost to pay the operator/fuel and truck cost is over $75 per hour (then you should look into that problem because private contractors are working for less per hour) which means the cost is around $25,000.

    Divided by 118 lane miles that you will be paid for is $213.00 per lane mile plus $1100 salt cost.

    How will $2500 not cover it ?

    I would say if you can’t actually find a way to earn income plowing for the state (provided they pay up) then the county needs to reevaluate how it does snow and the publics expectations.

  7. Perhaps the difference is that the State and County have to pay prevailing wage.

    But, maybe not.

    I am no expert on this subject.

  8. MCDOT will have their work cut out for them.

    Those sections of roadway are notoriously horrible during the snow season

  9. If it saves money, maybe the county should subcontracted out.

    The private sector usually does everything better and cheaper anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.