For the sixth time in less than four months, many areas of the North Texas region have been hit with a quick and severe winter blast. Once again, below freezing temperatures combined with accumulating precipitation hit all over Young County, as did strains on city personnel budgets, infrastructures and energy providers.

Graham Street Superintendent Frank Herpeche estimated that at the end of this past weekend, he has had a 100 percent increase in pothole and pavement failures this winter compared to what would be considered a normal winter.

He said this was mainly caused by the cold weather opening cracks allowing for the entrance of freezing rain, which caused further expansion. Herpeche said that he has treated roughly 250 more potholes this winter than normal, and when he factored in material, labor, equipment and fuel, he approximated an added cost of $17,000 compared to a normal budget.

On top of this, because Herpeche has had to perform six ice treatments this winter compared to his usual two or three, all for severe weather stints lasting longer than those of a normal winter, he said that the added salt, rock, fuel equipment and labor has totaled approximately $38,000 in extra costs.

This brings the grand total to an extra $55,000 for the annual street budget alone. Herpeche said that he will be looking at reducing the number of streets in his summer seal coat program to make up these costs unless city officials are able to reduce other budget items in the general fund during the remainder of the year.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.