Road crews across East Tennessee are once again preparing for the possibility of snow and spending tens of thousands of dollars treating the roads.
Most local governments make room in their budget for winter weather events, but in the case of some smaller highway departments, that money is running out.
Cocke County Highway Department Superintendent Kenneth Ford said his overtime budget is lean.
"It's not gone but it's about gone. We don't have a lot left in it," said Ford.
Ford is also dealing with a lack of supplies. The department has no brine or salt to pre-treat their 780 miles of roads.
"We don't have money to buy the salt. It's about $80 a ton. And we just don't have the funds," he said.
Ford said the majority of the roads are made of gravel and salt would not work on gravel roads. But he would still like to have some for the major routes.
Their on-site quarry is able to provide them with a fine gravel that helps provide traction once the snow has already fallen.
"Once it gets deep enough we'll take our snow plows and try to knock it off and then put the gravel on top," he said.
Ford said the gravel saves them thousands of dollars.
Even though they cannot pre-treat, employees are still preparing by inspecting plows and gravel spreaders.
The City of Knoxville put down brine Tuesday. Director of Public Service David Brace said the city has spent $127,000 on materials, labor and equipment use not including Tuesday's efforts. Currently, the city is on budget, but he said another two or three big events could put them over budget.
Knox County Engineering Director Jim Snowden said the county is in good shape spending wise because it saves a lot of money using the brine system. He said overall for the past 5 years, they have been trending under budget for snow removal and so far this year that trend continues.
Blount County said it has spent about $28,000 since the last big snow event.
Hamblen County said it has spent about half of its salt budget for the year.