by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--Odessa road crews loaded up the de-icing trucks early Monday afternoon and according to Odessa Area Supervisor Jesse Gutierrez, they have everything they need to fulfill their top priority, "Tonight means we're going to get prepared for the worst scenario. That's the best that we can do and we don't option for anything less."
Gutierrez says, when it comes to preparing for winter storms, they treat each one as if it were the worst. Proposed budget cuts from Gov. Rick Perry aren't going to interfere with their mission, "We've already met our 5%. I think we're looking good as far as that goes. You've got to understand, we're working already on fiscal year 2010 budget. Our budget's already in place. Our year won't end until August 31st. Our 2011 budget won't begin until September 1st. That's a different budget."
Included in that budget are the trucks, de-icing materials and the manpower that will be out and about on the bridges and overpasses in the area.
"I've not heard of any cutbacks that's going to affect maintenance, as far as having the resources that we need for roadway material. Those are the critical needs. Those would come first, above and beyond anything else," Gutierrez explained.
His budget is looking good and based on his experience, the Odessa district has plenty of resources to get through this bout with Mother Nature. If worse comes to worst, they can always borrow from neighboring districts.
As for any proposed cuts, Gutierrez says if they're implemented, they would not affect their job or their performance, "It would be those items that are not essential to the safety of the traveling public. First priority is safety."