The Orange Township board of trustees plans for ice-free roads and more community voices in 2014.

The Orange Township board of trustees plans for ice-free roads and more community voices in 2014.

With the recent run of snowy weather, the board approved the purchase of a salt spreader from Principal Truck Supply Inc. at its meeting Monday, Dec. 16.

The salt spreader can be placed temporarily in a truck and holds about a ton of salt, Maintenance and Parks Director Beth Hugh said.

The board approved the $3,445 purchase of the spreader.

The township estimates using 2,100 tons of salt for the year, but Hugh worried that if the above-average snowfall continues, it may not be enough.

"Given that it is Dec. 16, I'm just getting a little nervous," Hugh said. "The snow that we've had has been very slippery, slick, wet snows with icy conditions and we're not just plowing like we can sometimes."

Hugh did not ask the board for any action, but cautioned that if the snowy weather continues, the township may have to conserve salt or stop salting neighborhood roads.

Overall, though, board members said they believed there will be enough salt to thaw all township roads.

Chairman Robert Quigley said a few years ago there was a shortage of salt, but this year that should not be a problem.

"It depends on the winter and what reserves are out there," Quigley said. "It's definitely a concern."

The board also hopes for community involvement regarding the ongoing discussion about building a community center within the township.

"Community-center discussion has been a discussion for multiple years now. It keeps moving forward, but this thing is just hanging there," Quigley said. "Let the public vote on it. If they don't vote on it, then we're done with it."

Board members said they would like to put the community center issue on the ballot in November.

A recent feasibility study asked residents if they want a community center and, if so, what it should entail and how much it should cost, Hugh said.

"The feasibility study outlines some options in the township," she said. "It starts to look at number of square feet and it shows support from the community."

But the study may be misleading, Trustee Lisa Knapp said.

"It says so many will support it, and so many people will support this price, but that doesn't necessarily match up with the people that are supporting it," Knapp said. "I do not think we have the base to support it."

Knapp said she supports looking into the idea of the community center and agreed voters should make the decision.

Specific details have yet to be worked out. The board hopes residents will volunteer to become committee members to get the project started.

The Orange Township board of trustees will meet next at 7 p.m. Jan. 6 at the township offices, 1680 E. Orange Road.