The mild winters of the past couple of years have left area road departments with an abundance of road salt in their storage bins.
“The last two winters were relatively mild. We used about the same amount of tons of salt in District Six,” said Nancy Burton, Ohio Department of Transportation District Six spokesperson.
Burton said the 10-year average amount of road salt used on the district’s highway’s is usually 71,139 tons.
“Salt used during the 2016-2017 ice and snow season, November to April, was 46,922 tons,” Burton said. “Of the 46,922 tons, 6,489 tons was used in Delaware County.”
Burton said the current amount of salt on hand in the district’s storage bins is 48,715 tons.
“Salt will last in storage indefinitely as long as the storage facility is dry and covered,” Burton said. “All our salt barns are covered.”
She said the average price for salt per ton is $42.55.
Burton said by using the 10 year average of 71,139 tons of salt and subtracting it by the amount used this year, 46,922 tons, the savings is 24,217 tons of salt. She said by multiplying the average price per ton, $42.55, the district saves just over $1 million.
“We have big numbers still in the barns,” said Jerry Ungashick, Delaware County Engineer’s Office operations manager. “All of our barns are about full.”
Ungashick said the the county is currently storing 8,150 tons of salt. He said county trucks made 12 runs in the season putting down 4,525 tons of salt over the 750 total miles of road.
Beth Hugh, Orange Township road and maintenance director, said some municipalities don’t salt everything.
“The season started early this year with the ice storms in December,” she said. “We used a fair amount of salt in the beginning of the season.”
Hugh said Orange Township has about 1,180 tons of salt stored for the summer. She said 950 tons are stored in the township’s bins and another 230 tons are stored with the county. She said the township’s total use for the season was 670 tons of salt.
“We salt everything,” Hugh said. “We even salt cul-de-sacs.”
Hugh said typically the township orders 2,000-2,200 tons each to add to the leftovers of the past year to cover the more than 100 miles of roads in both directions.
Andy Curmode, Liberty Township parks and roads superintendent, said the township used 845 tons of salt this year. He said most of it was used during the ice storms to cover the township’s 89 miles of roads.
“It was terrible,” he said. “The guys said it was bad and they were glad it was over.”
Curmode said the township has about 900 tons of salt remaining in storage.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.