Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Poetry for Fall
    By Jay Grummel Poetry has a way of connecting us to the external and internal world. In poetry it is easier to feel a season and truly feel a piece due to this. Poetry has a subtle way of making the readers immersed into the world of the poem. With the air getting colder and […]
  • A Theatrical Rivalry with Love and Despair
    By Jay Grummel If We Were Villains has a way of making the horrifics acts of rivals and the blurry line of morals poetic. At first glance I didn’t think I’d enjoy this book as much as I did, especially with the amount of times it quoted Shakespeare. However, after diving into this dark academic […]

Public Works Division spends 93% of overtime budget for year

The Public Works division has nearly reached the limit of its overtime budget for the whole year in less than two months.

With more than 2,900 hours of overtime clocked since January, the division has doled out $45,478 of its $48,742 set aside for overtime, leaving it with a little more than $3,000 to last the rest of the year, said Finance Director Brian Bushong.

“Obviously we’ll be watching this, but we still have a lot of winter to go,” Bushong said.

The city will still have to get through summer and the following December.

“A weekend hasn’t gone by where we’re not working nights,” said Brian Craft, director of the Public Works Division. “We’ve experienced one whole season in a month.”

Since January, nearly 50 inches of snow fell in the area, roughly 20 inches more than last year, according to observed weather reports from the National Weather Service.

“We may have to go back to city council and ask for an appropriation to increase the budget,” Bushong said, if overtime keeps amassing. The division has yet to do that as it still has money left, Bushong said.

The city could help the division by giving it money from the city’s reserve funds or make the division trim other parts of its budget to increase overtime funds, he said.

Bushong can’t remember another time when the division got close to exceeding its overtime budget.

This time last year, the division had spent roughly $33,000 of its overtime budget with the same limit of roughly $48,000, he said.

As the season continues, Craft said he doesn’t think there will be less work.

“The forecast for February is just as bad as January,” he said.

Overtime isn’t the only worry of the division.

As the snow falls, so does salt from the division’s plows clearing the streets.

Since the beginning of the season, the division has used 1,600 tons of salt for the streets.

It started the season with 1,400 tons and had to request an additional 800 tons, Craft said.

But the salt creates another problem besides shortages — potholes.

“Every time the salt hits the ground, it warms the surface, creating a freeze-thaw cycle,” Craft said.

As the salt thaws the asphalt while the weather continues to freeze it, it breaks down, creating potholes.

“Potholes are popping up literally,” Craft said.

Another department experiencing more trouble than usual this winter is the Utilities Department, which has made 20 service calls for frozen pipes.

“The guys are saying we haven’t had a winter like this since 1984,” said Mike Johnson, division superintendent of Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection.

Each time the department gets a call about a frozen service line to a house, it has to either replace the whole line or call a contractor with a steam machine to thaw it, said Brian O’Connell, city utilities director.

The utilities department has paid $28,136 in overtime, an increase from $22,873 last year, but has a limit of $240,000 because it is a much bigger department, Bushong said.

“The guys are getting burned out and averaging 15 hours [extra] a week,” Johnson said. “We’re just hoping for warmer weather.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *