Canal Winchester is preparing for a severe rise in the price of salt used to de-ice roads during the winter, but officials said it won't affect the practices residents have become accustomed to.

Canal Winchester is preparing for a severe rise in the price of salt used to de-ice roads during the winter, but officials said it won't affect the practices residents have become accustomed to.

Finance director Nanisa Osborn said the price of road salt jumped from about $46 per ton last year to an expected $154 per ton this year.

"It's the logistics that's eating up the price," Osborn said. "It is more the fact that last winter was so bad in the States."

She added that road salt is delivered according to a fixed flow of supply; there's plenty of salt in the mines, but barges hauling the salt can carry 1,500 tons maximum.

Osborn said a purchasing group called Southwest Ohio Purchasers for Government (SWOP4G) makes annual bids to suppliers for road salt in 55 municipalities across southwestern Ohio.

The state of Ohio receives a share of 1.4-million tons of salt, 255,045 tons of which will be obtained by SWOP4G this year, she said.

Public works director Matt Peoples said Monday that Canal Winchester used about 750 tons of road salt last year. The village has about 400 tons of road salt in storage and has put in a bid to buy 600 tons more. At the current price, that will cost the village $92,400 -- much more than last year's price of $37,000.

Peoples said he takes pride in the level of road de-icing service offered by village staff and expects it won't change.

"We still want to provide that high level of service that our residents have become accustomed to, but at the same time keep an eye on the budget," he said.

To accomplish both tasks, the public works department will need to look at a "programmatic change," he said. He said one idea for a change could be to purchase an additional truck to spray brine on roads before temperatures drop in order to prevent ice formation.

"It just makes us have to be more diligent," Peoples said of the price increase.

The price of solar salt, a food-grade additive used in water treatment, has also gone up, although the increase is not as drastic as that for road salt, Peoples said.

He said the village uses an estimated 1,000 tons of solar salt a year. He said the village receives about 40 loads of solar salt per year; one load is about 25 tons.

Osborn said the price of solar salt went from $119 a ton to $158 a ton.

In the case of solar salt and other chemicals used by the public works staff, fuel has been the driving factor in the price hike, Peoples said.

"The fuel drives a lot of things," he added.

Peoples said he and other village staff members will need to look at the budget after winter to discover how much in appropriation amendments will need to be made.

Although the price of solar salt rose slightly due to fuel costs, he said he doesn't want to have to use any less. Solar salt is used to soften water going through the water treatment plant.

"We're not required to soften water; however, it is a very good amenity," Peoples said.

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com