Deal with Genoa will bring brine to Liberty roads
Using a brine solution on icy roads could help Liberty Township conserve salt in winters to come, officials say.
At its Sept. 4 meeting the Liberty Township Trustees considered an agreement to purchase salt brine -- a solution containing about 10 percent salt and 90 percent water -- from Genoa Township this winter to help keep roadways free of snow and ice.
The plan was tabled because an exact price per gallon had not been agreed upon before the meeting. On Sept. 11, township Administrator Dave Anderson said the price would be 8 cents per gallon.
Anderson said the deal will result in significant savings because the brine solution can be sprayed as a preliminary measure during winter snow events to keep roads clear.
It would still be necessary to spread rock salt in case of substantial ice or snowfall, he said.
The township will use leftover funds from last year's salt budget to help pay for a brine holding tank and equipment to spread the mixture. Those purchases were approved at the Sept. 4 meeting.
Less salt was used because the mild winter yielded little snow. About $71,000 of the budgeted $88,000 was spent. The remainder will go to purchase a brine spreader and holding tank.
"We're basically taking all the money we saved thanks to Mother Nature last year and reinvesting it," said township Road Administrator Randy Leib.
About $14,280 will be used to modify one of the township's old salt trucks to include a brine-spreading apparatus, and the proposed 6,250 gallon holding tank will cost about $3,750.
The township could pay off the total cost of the new equipment with savings alone in just two years, according to Leib.
Brine will be hauled from Genoa Township, which makes its own with a special mixing system.
Next year, Anderson hopes to see Liberty Township budget for its own brine-mixing equipment.
But the plans won't eliminate the need to increase the township's salt storage capacity, which hasn't kept up with township growth, he said.
Earlier this year the trustees discussed the possibility of building a new salt barn to replace the township's existing facility, which holds just 500 tons of salt.
The township needs about three times as much storage to keep up with salt use in a typical winter, according to Leib.
The existing facility must be refilled about three times per year on average.
In other business, the trustees approved plans to back a proposed county-wide EMS study at the Sept. 4 meeting
Prior to the meeting, Trustee Melanie Leneghan said she would support the proposed study of different EMS models only after she had more time to investigate the matter and a vote was delayed.
A coalition of Delaware county communities will seek a grant to fund the study, which would be conducted by a third party if approved.
In other business, the trustees approved the purchase of plants and grass for about $909 as part of a plan to reduce stormwater runoff at Liberty Park. Runoff causes erosion and other damage.
The purchases will be reimbursed through a grant from the state, which is funding the project.