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Banner year for pot holes predicted

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WARREN, Ohio - Ask anyone in local government and they will tell you this rough winter, with its heavy snow and hard freezes has been a budgetary challenge for road departments.

Nunzio Divieste is the operations supervisor for the city of Warren. "This could be the worst winter I've experienced in 20 years here, with as much material as we've put down," Divieste said.

The bitter cold and frequency of snow and ice removal strained budgets with the amount of material, overtime, fuel and other expenses.

"Our budget is usually around $98,000 a month and it's been as high as $132,000 just for labor at this point," said Gregg Alberini, highway superintendent at the Trumbull County Engineer's Office.

And starting this week, the next challenge to the budget will come as the ground begins to thaw.

"Once this cold weather goes away and the core of the ground unfreezes and everything starts to thaw out that will be a perfect recipe for potholes," Alberini said.

Divieste says that perfect recipe could produce a banner year for wheel-banging potholes.

"It's probably going to be the worst season I've seen in 20 years, I can predict that pretty confidently," Divieste said.

The engineers say it's too early to predict a pothole budget, but patching is already underway with cold patch material as a temporary fix, and a more permanent fix with hot patch and asphalt will be done as soon as weather conditions permit.

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