Aberdeenshire Council has revealed it will cost about £100,000 a month to keep grit bins stocked-up over the winter.
The spending will be one part of a £4.7 million overall budget required to ensure the region’s roads are safe to use in the ice and snow.
Last year the council was forced to go £2 million over budget after the region endured one of the worst winters in recent memory.
Roads bosses came under fire after towns and villages were left impassable for cars and pedestrians after the traditional surface treatment was left redundant by thawing conditions, rainfall and freezing temperatures overnight.
Due to the spiralling costs of this approach, the authority decided to go back to the drawing board and come up with an alternative strategy.
A report, which will be discussed by the council’s infrastructure services committee on Thursday, states that if all 1,400 grit bins across the region were re-filled four times during the season it would cost almost £500,000.
In order to combat salt and grit containers being emptied in an inefficient way, the authority will now provide one tonne bags at “strategic locations” during more severe storms.
Much of the anger was sparked by “non-primary” roads being left untreated due to the council prioritising main road routes.
However, the authority has now developed a hierarchy of side and rural roads to ensure those that are important routes to schools, large businesses and other busy sites are not left out.
And volunteer council workers will also be enlisted and given training in driving grit vehicles to ensure there are a pool of back-up drivers to ease the strain on the regular gritters if overtime is required.
The council has already appealed for members of the public to come forward and volunteer as snow wardens to help clear their communities.
Wardens will be given proper equipment to help them but will have to have public liability insurance of up to £5 million.
For more information, visit the council’s road maintenance section at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk.