PONTIAC (WWJ) – When the heavy snow hits this winter, there will be more plows on the streets of Oakland County. That’s because, for the first time, the Road Commission for Oakland County has hired 30 part-time, temporary salt truck drivers.
“We also tried to bring back as many of our retired drivers who were willing and able to still drive, and we got four additional part-time drivers that way,” said spokesman RCOC Craig Bryson.
Bryson said that, despite budget problems, they saved over a million dollars through the mild winter we had last year. “That helped us actually prevent a few more full-time positions from being eliminated, among other things.
“We also were able to buy some new equipment — a tiny fraction of what we need, but at least get some equipment. But it’s much cheaper to hire these 30 part-time temporary employees, obviously, than to bring back full-time employees, so we were able to do that with our operation budget,” Bryson said.
Despite the added drivers, RCOC Vice-Chairman Greg Jamian said that motorists must remain vigilant when driving during or immediately after winter storms.
“It’s critical that motorists be aware of the road conditions and drive appropriately for those conditions. We will be out salting and plowing whenever it snows, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any icy or snow-covered areas,” Jamian said.
Bryson said they’re down 60 employees in five years. The agency currently has 157 fewer employees than in 2007.