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Open Winter Relief To Many In Roberts County

January 4, 2012, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Open Winter Relief To Many In Roberts County
SISSETON, SD - People in Roberts County are seeing the difference one year can make with the current winter weather.

At this time last year many in Roberts County were hoping to get away from winter weather target that dropped a record amount of snow in December. This year, there's hardly any.

Out in the country, down a couple county roads and a township one too, Terry Weinkauf is thrilled the winter weather hasn't delivered a repeat of last year.

"It was tough. I had to snow blow almost every day. And a lot of days had to snow blow all the way to the highway," Weinkauf said.

That highway is a mile and a half away from his home. Even if you exclude snow removal, Roberts County works within a very tight budget.

"They just don't have the money to get that road open very often so if I wanted to get to work I had to open it myself," Weinkauf said.

That is why he's one person who wouldn't trade the winter weather so far. He lives in the country but the city of Sisseton is noticing a difference in town too.

"This year's really nice compared to last year," street superintendent Mike Allen said.

There's no snow lining the streets for crews to clear and it's saving the city money. In 2010 it burned more than 770 gallons of fuel removing snow. In 2011 that number dropped to 30 gallons Allen said.

"It takes a lot of stress off everybody and mainly the equipment," Allen said.

Allen says his crews can now focus on other needed maintenance work.

Back in the country, Weinkauf is thankful he and his tractor have had some time to rest this winter.

"I'll take it while it lasts and enjoy every bit of it," Weinkauf said.

But at the same time, he's sure he'll have to clear his way out to the highway at least once before winter is over.

Sisseton received about an inch of snow this past month. Last year it was sitting with 33 inches in that same time frame.

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