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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Do your worst, winter

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A free, military surplus acquisition from Grissom Air Reserve Base, this 1999 Oshkosh truck could be called upon to move tons of snow in the worst conditions this winter. [Order this photo]
No one wants to think about the blizzard conditions the coming months could bring. But if they do come, Putnam County has one more weapon in the fight.

A big weapon.

The Putnam County Highway Department has taken possession of a 1999 Oshkosh snowplow truck that came at no cost from the federal government.

Larger than the trucks and road graders the county normally uses for plowing snow, the mammoth machine will be saved for the worst conditions.

County Highway co-supervisor Jim Smith called it "a county-wide piece of equipment," saying it would be operated by a highway employee, but could be used to the benefit of a number of agencies -- police, fire, emergency medical or the Putnam County Airport, to name a few.

"It could help anybody who's in dire need of getting a road open," Smith said.

The truck was initially acquired by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department. A federal program allows law enforcement agencies to take possession of equipment the federal government is no longer using.

The Sheriff's Department, for example, has two Humvees the U.S. Army was no longer using.

The plow truck came from Grissom Air Reserve Base near Peru, Ind. Sheriff Steve Fenwick said reserve deputy Dave Allison discovered the truck and drove it more than 100 miles from Grissom to Greencastle.

The plow on the truck has two blade edges and can be rotated 180 degrees, allowing the truck to push snow to either its left or right.

The truck has only 12,000 miles on it, and the only cost to the county was for a battery and an air filter to get it running.

"It's in great shape," highway co-supervisor Clint Maddox told the county commissioners at Monday's meeting. "It's road ready."

Beyond the addition of the new truck, Smith said the highway has its trucks and graters ready for winter weather, whenever it strikes.

Most of the trucks are sitting inside with plows and sanders already installed. Additionally, the salt barn is full and ready for the winter.

The department is still repairing gravel roads, but is prepared should the temperatures drop and produce a few slick spots.

"This time of year, you have to be ready for anything," Smith said.

Smith and Maddox also told the commissioners that Hospital Drive is in the process of being put back on the county inventory. Recent complaints to the county about chuck holes on the road caused some confusion about whose road it is to repair.

The road is apparently the responsibility of the county, but a paperwork mix-up at the state years ago kept the road from being added to the inventory.

Hospital Drive will not officially be added to the inventory yet, but the county will fix the road.

In other business:

* The county opened the 2012 annual highway bids. Twenty-six different agencies submitted bids to provide various products and services for the highway department.

The commissioners took the bids under advisement and will review them at the Dec. 19 meeting.

* The highway department received four bids for culvert work at Heritage Lake, ranging in price from $63,100 to $144,000.

The issue was tabled for review at the next meeting.

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It's about time the county fixed Hospital Drive!

We had to go to the doctor last week, and

nearly tore up our car! Can you imagine an

ambulance ride from the Waters or to the doctor

on that road?

-- Posted by S B on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 8:28 AM

A 1999 truck with only 12,ooo miles on it owned by the federal government.......hmmmmmm I guess it wasn't utilized very much. So taxpayers pay for this piece of machinery in the very beginning and the government gives it away. Federal spending at it's best. It was given to the county at no cost....we've already paid for it once!

-- Posted by muscleman on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 10:57 AM

MUSCLEMAN .. you're welcome.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 12:28 PM

No kidding on the "land mine" road that is Hospital Drive. I lost a hub cap driving to the hospital last week. Is the county responsible for repairs to vehicles too?

-- Posted by snowgurl452 on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 12:51 PM

Thank you Putnam Co Highway from one less complainer of the roads!

-- Posted by tennismom on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 2:24 PM

One can get to Medic Way from Jones Road,it's not nearly as rough,yet....

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 4:30 PM

LOL! "..the highway has its trucks and graters ready for winter weather."..so that they may put grated cheese on their chili.

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 6:09 PM

The possibilities are endless: Snow removal, road grader, mail box crusher, should put plenty of cars in the ditch. What a deal!

-- Posted by JustinH on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 6:12 PM

These are called 'Roll-Over' plows because of the method employed when turning the blade to throw snow from the right to the left; the plow rotates, wide side up, 180 degrees, or 'rolls over.' Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, AK, had several of these to clear its three-mile runway. Be glad our highway department has one.

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 6:20 PM

DNR informs Commissioners and Highway when they feel Pine Bluff area should be closed. Go to meetings,they are open to the public.

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 7:12 PM

The low miles could be because it was mainly used on the AF base to clear runways and parking lots. Not driven around the backroads moving snow, you Stooge. I mean SCROOGE. ; )

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:21 PM

I am just itching to drive it!

-- Posted by localmom44 on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 3:17 AM

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