Roadway salt use more than double last winter

By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

January 21, 2014

DARKE COUNTY - Salt supplies have begun to look sparse around the county, which makes sense considering Greenville alone has used more than double the amount of salt they used for the 2012-2013 winter season, said Ryan Delk, superintendent of Greenville’s street department.

For the 2012-2013 winter season, Greenville’s street department went through approximately 700 tons of salt; so far this winter, they’ve gone through 1,600 tons of salt, and it’s only halfway through the winter season, Delk noted.

For the past 10 years, Delk said the city has averaged 1,200 tons of salt, and their average won’t be hurt by the abundance of winter weather the city has seen this year, because it will even out the lower amounts used in the previous three years.

“Everyone is going through a lot of salt this year, which will drive prices up next year,” Delk commented.

The city bids on their salt in the summer to get lower prices, Delk commented, and this year they paid around $53 a ton, for nearly 2,000 tons of salt, totaling $106,000.

Darke County has used $392,926 worth of salt, or 6,757 tons, since Jan. 1, 2013, said Mandi Dillon, public information officer with District 7 of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

From Jan. 1, 2012 to Jan. 20, 2013, Darke County only used 1,372 tons of salt, at a cost of approximately $88,639, Abner added. ODOT awards a statewide salt contract for all districts, plus any interested counties and municipalities, Dillon reported. Each county has their own awarded bidder and price, she noted, and typically each location is stocked with winter materials before winter.

If more materials are needed mid-season, Dillon said they are ordered as needed, with vendors responsible for delivering the salt, which is stored in a specially designed structure at the county garage.