Olentangy Valley News

City awaits salt shipment, may have to borrow

Powell had just 30 tons left after last week's snowstorms


After another round of winter weather last week, the city of Powell may be ready to ask other communities to pass the salt.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said the city had used 1,950 tons of salt on Powell roads this winter as of Tuesday, Feb. 11. The city has never used more salt in an entire winter since city officials began keeping records of salt use in 1995.

Canavan said the historically bad weather this winter has stretched Powell's salt supply thin.

"Over the weekend we used about 40 tons of salt," she said. "Now we have 30 tons of salt left."

The city placed an order in late January for 350 tons of salt to shore up its supplies, but salt deliveries have been delayed throughout Ohio and much of the country because of heavy demand. If the shipment does not arrive on time, Canavan said city officials will check with other local governments and agencies to see if they can spare any salt in the short term.

Canavan said the city has spent slightly more than $65,000 on salt and about $12,000 on overtime pay for snow removal since the season began in early November.

The consistently rough weather has led to other communities getting creative to stretch their salt. The city of Delaware has been experimenting with pretreating streets with a mixture of brine and sugar-beet juice meant to make smaller amounts of salt more effective.

Canavan said officials in Powell are more focused on getting their hands on road salt than experimenting at this point.

"We haven't explored that yet," she said. "We're hopeful we'll get at least a portion of the (salt) order by the time the next storm hits."

Despite waning salt supplies, Canavan said city workers have been able to keep a good portion of the city's side streets cleared so far. Still, she said the main focus of snow-removal efforts this winter will continue to be major thoroughfares such as Sawmill Parkway, Bennett Parkway and Olentangy Street.

The National Weather Service forecasts a chance of light snow showers returning late this week after a string of cold, sunny days.