Inflation Is Main Cause of Budget Increase

Highway Department

Inflation is hitting the town expenses hard

Our highway department is our most visible, has the largest budget, and is an extremely important department. They maintain 120 miles of roads, 40 miles of sidewalks, 14 bridges over 20', 500 catch basins, ditches, culverts, swales, and are involved in innumerable miscellaneous projects all year long. The work they do affects all of us in the community.

As our “canary in the coal mine,” we need to share what inflation is doing to our highway department costs.

The cost for concrete increased 5% with a $30 per load surcharge that never used to be there… the bad news is that a 5% increase is the smallest increase in what are across the board higher prices.

The worst? 109% increase in the cost of diesel. Yes, that is more than double the cost of a year ago and we use a lot of diesel.

Other common costs include salt (up 18%), pavement (up 30%), road paint (up 58%), diesel exhaust fluid (up 32%), grease (up 15%) and regular old gas (up 40%).
The good news is that our highway department also saves us a huge amount of money. Thanks to the capabilities, skills, and hard work of our crews, we save money every year by being able to do a lot of work “in house” rather than hiring it out.

What we are seeing with inflation at the town is the same as what you are seeing in your own homes in terms of higher prices. We will continue to do everything we can to keep costs down, but the reality is that this next year won’t be easy in terms of paying our bills.