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It's never too early to think about snow

Never too early to think about snow
Never too early to think about snow
Photo provided by Flicker, Wirtschafts

The region is hoping for a mild winter this year and for less snow than last. The reason? For one, a salt shortage exists. The salt supply was a big issue last winter and is suddenly a huge concern again, as we head for the winter months. It has become a major topic in much of the area for the past two weeks.

“As part of SWOP4G [Highway Rock Salt Bidding], we use the collaborative buying power of 101 agencies who requested bids this year, only a total of 12 will receive salt due to availability,” Sugarcreek Township Administrator, Barry Tiffany said. “This is affecting the entire Midwest and the surrounding states to Ohio.”

Currently, the Township has 550 tons of salt in the shed. The shed has the capacity of holding 1,300 tons. On average the township uses about 1.200 tons each winter. Of course, the goal is to have a full shed by the beginning of winter, but this year might be a challenge.

“We are not going to be able to put down as much salt as we have in the past,” Township Trustee, Scott Bryant said.

Of the 12 agencies receiving bids, eight are in Greene County. Those agencies include Sugarcreek Township, Beavercreek, Bellbrook and Xenia. The other four agencies include Kettering, Centerville, Clearcreek Township and the City of Mason. These agencies will receive a total of 28,500 tones of salt from Cargill to share. An additional 25,000 tons will be received from North American Salt Co. and will be split with Middletown, Montgomery County, and two other agencies to the north.

“What we are trying to do is get everyone to tell us how much salt they have on hand, how much they normally use on a yearly basis, then figure out the surplus. Then, take the 53,500 and divide it up. That way everyone can have the same level,” Tiffany said. “If we all end up with 65% of what we normally use, then that is the best we can do collectively. So far, everyone is in agreement.”

The Township is working on standards on how everyone in the county plans on treating the roads so they are treated in the same fashion throughout. The Township plans on salting the roads only when it is economically viable. The roads are not going to be great this year. The township plans on salting the roads after the snow event, whereas in the past, the salting began during the snow event and continued until it passed. To maximize the amount of salt, the Township plans on mixing the salt with sand to help preserve the load.

“If we get deep snows this year, people may have to stay home. We are not going to be able to treat the roads like before,” Tiffany said. “Salt is just not going to be available. We are getting our salt from Chile, South America. Subdivisions and private contractors are just not going to be able to get it.”

The Township is working on a plan to do the best with what they have to make the roads as safe as possible. Public notices will be sent to all residents in the near future.

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