In the middle of warm and humid summer, the city of Delaware is preparing to have enough salt for next winter.
On Monday, City Council approved $75,000 in additional funding to purchase 1,200 tons of road salt from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s summer salt fill contract. The city has requested a total of 2,500 tons of salt from ODOT, and has already received the initial order of 1,300 tons of salt.
“We’re in a much better situation than we were last year,” said Bill Ferrigno, director of public works and city engineer. “At this time last year, we were wondering if we would be able to get salt.”
A harsh winter in 2013-14 led to a high demand for salt in 2014-15. Although there was a lot of snow last winter, the city was able to ration its supply.
“As a result of the ongoing demand for, and limited availability of road salt reserves, the city must commit to purchase 100 percent of its estimated road salt needs in advance of the following winter season,” a council fact sheet stated. “Failing to procure salt in this manner could leave the city without sufficient material to properly maintain the road network during winter snow and ice events.”
A ton of salt costs $74.91 through the ODOT salt contract, compared to the $109.19 per ton the city paid last year from Southwest Ohio Purchasers for Government.
The city uses an estimated 3,000 tons of salt in a winter season. Adding the reserve of 650 tons of salt from last winter to the 2,500 tons of salt from ODOT totals 3,150 tons, which might get the city through the next season.
“We’re advance-purchasing salt now, as opposed to prior years purchasing just-in-time or after-the-fact,” Ferrigno said. “What this does allow us to do is make sure we have at least 3,000 tons of salt. It also allows us to be flexible, to be ahead of the curve in purchasing salt.”
The salt must be ordered by Aug. 15, and will be delivered by Nov. 30. Before council’s unanimous approval, the request was also recommended by the city’s public works committee on July 7.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.