Greene County Highway Department faces labor shortage: how it plans to manage summer maintenance

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Just like many of us, Greene County’s Highway Department is doing its best to keep up with mowing.

Supervisors explain a shortage of maintenance workers is making it tough to keep up with the grass and weeds.

”The first thing people are probably going to notice is our lack of ability to mow the right of ways like we have in the past,” said Greene County Highway Department Supervisor Jeff Deckard.

Clipping grass and weeds along roadways keep drivers safe, but with a shortage of maintenance workers, crews have to focus more on fixing roads than mowing the grass.

“Now we’re just mowing one pass because of the lack of help and our routes have gotten double the size so it’s hard to keep up,” said maintenance worker Mark Luttrell.

The Greene County Highway Department is currently short 10 maintenance workers. To try to keep up with all the mowing, only part of the right-of-way will be cut.

”It makes it more stressful. The intersections grow up and people cant see to get out and everybody’s not happy,” said Luttrell.

“Safety is a priority with our employees as well as the traveling public. So we’re thinking that by mowing that one pass and mowing our intersections so that we can keep the visibility for the motorist at the intersections,” said Deckard.

The shortage could delay some highway projects until the fall.

” It’s just a never-ending process especially when it warms up and really gets growing, you’re just behind, behind, behind. You never really get caught up,” said Luttrell.

Deckard says people can help by mowing the public land leading up to their property.

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