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Putnam Co. Has 5 Salt Trucks, 700 Tons of Salt for Rest of Winter

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Putnam County has a week's worth of salt, or 700 tons. Highway employees are hoping it's enough for this winter

Putnam County Road Supervisor Randy Jones said about a quarter of the county's highway budget is paid for by the county. The rest is paid for by the state transportation budget, which gets its revenue from the gas tax.

"We'd like to have a little more money and contract services and possibly some money for equipment," Randy Jones said, road supervisor.

It's up to Jones to request more highway money from Putnam County commissioners, but it's up to the state legislature to approve a gas tax hike. There hasn't been once since 1989 and Governor Bill Haslam said last week the gas tax will not be raised this year.

For every gallon right now, 21.4 cents goes to Tennessee.

The state gas tax pays for road construction, maintenance and municipal road budgets.

Putnam County used 100 tons of salt after Wednesday's storm, leaving them 700 tons, or seven days worth, left.

"We can do several small snows with that kind of salt supply," Jones said.

Putnam county has five salt trucks for more than 700 miles of roadway. The county's highway maintenance budget is based on the previous year's need.

"We go back to what we spent this year," Jones said.

This year, Putnam County paid just over $92 for a ton of salt. Last year, the county paid $74 a ton.

It's up to the Putnam County road supervisor to ask commissioners for additional highway maintenance funds. The budget must be finalized before July 1.

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