MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - Snowflakes over the weekend are a good reminder that a winter storm could hit anytime now. Counties in our area are making sure they're prepared.
The roads may be bare now, but when a storm hits, John Hassemer and his new rig will be ready.
"I think all the drivers prefer a heavier winter," he joked.
The Manitowoc County Highway Department purchased two new plow trucks for the upcoming season. At nearly $200,000 each, the trucks will salt and clear more than 70 miles of I43 using the latest and greatest technology.
"The lighting on the wings for traffic that is coming from behind you," Hassemer pointed out. "Better strobes on the back, the flashing lights on your back. As far as inside the cab, everything is hands on with joysticks and buttons versus the old levers on the older trucks."
"When we do work for the state of Wisconsin, other municipalities, we charge so much for our trucks," explained Manitowoc County Highway Commissioner Gary Kennedy. "The rate, and we use that money to buy our trucks for the future." 21:26
Kennedy said last year's mild winter means a cushion for this year's budget. They still have about $275,000 in operating costs to use in the month of December.
"The good thing in our business, if we do have a little extra coin, it goes into our reserve fund for the following years," added Kennedy.
Kennedy said they typically get two or three new plow trucks every year to replace older vehicles.