The Canal Winchester Times

Dealing with winter

Salt is available, but deliveries have been slow

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The bitter winter has been taking its toll on local roads and on the crews working to keep them clear, but Canal Winchester, Groveport and Madison Township officials say they are prepared for whatever else hits before spring.

Record low temperatures combined with regular precipitation this winter have made road salt a prime commodity for municipalities.

According to officials in all three communities, they have maintained on-hand supplies, thanks to rationing and having excess salt left from last year.

"Our supply is stable. Currently, the county is waiting on their next shipment, but we haven't been put off, just asked to conserve," Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said.

"To do that, we were no longer salting Main Street completely," she said. "We have continued to salt bridges, hills and intersections when the temperatures are appropriate to allow the salt to work."

Canal Winchester Public Service Director Matt Peoples said the city started the year with 400 tons and ordered another 325 tons, which has left it in decent shape, although the high demand across the county has meant deliveries are behind schedule.

Groveport officials also mentioned the delivery issue.

"We are low on salt, but continue to get replenishments," Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said. "We ordered 600 tons last Wednesday, but have only received 100 tons of that order so far. We received 28 tons this weekend.

"What we need is about a week of good weather to get everybody caught back up on their (salt) orders."

Each community negotiated salt rates for the year, with Canal Winchester paying $48.84 per ton, Groveport paying $50.02 per ton, and Madison Township paying $53.56 per ton.

The stress on the roads can cause potholes and the stress on the equipment can cause failures, officials said.

"Windy conditions, which cause drifting, especially on north-south roads, have kept our crews out even after the snow has stopped," Brobst said. "Unfortunately, the most recent storm brought us numerous equipment breakdowns -- most of them minor involving loose wires -- so we were able to get all the trucks back in service within a day."

Peoples said Canal Winchester's upkeep of street maintenance over recent years meant it hasn't had many pothole problems. He, Brobst and Hall said their communities had crews out using cold patch to fill the holes they find or have reported to them.

"To date, we haven't spent more money on patching than expected but we do have at least one employee out at least one day each week driving the rural roads and patching where needed," Brobst said.

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