Reynoldsburg City Council approved an ordinance Monday authorizing Mayor Brad McCloud to enter into a contract with Cargill Salt to purchase road salt at a fixed rate of $61.59 per ton, down by $87.41 per ton from last year when the city paid $149 per ton.

Reynoldsburg City Council approved an ordinance Monday authorizing Mayor Brad McCloud to enter into a contract with Cargill Salt to purchase road salt at a fixed rate of $61.59 per ton, down by $87.41 per ton from last year when the city paid $149 per ton.

Also Monday night, council gave police Chief Dave Suciu the go-ahead to apply for an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant to use to pay for special patrol overtime.

Safety-service director Pam Boratyn said the contract with Cargill gives the city the option to purchase up to 2,000 tons at $61.59 per ton, but with no commitment to do so.

"This is much better than last year," Boratyn said. "Last year you had to commit to buy and buy the whole thing, so last year we bought 1,000 tons at $149 per ton.

"This time we put our order in and with the agreement can buy it as we need to and we don't anticipate having to buy until the first of next year."

Boratyn said to get the $61.59 rate the contract agreement needed to be approved by council as emergency legislation requiring one reading so it could be sent to Cargill by the end of July.

Boratyn said in 2008 the city purchased 1,000 tons of road salt from International Salt at a rate of $149 per ton -- a much higher rate mainly due to demand at the time and high energy costs.

She said the city currently has 1,500 tons of salt in its bins, with a capacity of about 3,000 tons, and during a normal winter can use up to 1,800 tons.

Council approved an ordinance allowing police Chief Dave Suciu to apply for an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant (JAG) to use to pay for special patrol overtime.

Boratyn said the grant money available to the city, issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, is for $13,964, and is provided without a matching requirement and contingent on the application being submitted by a deadline of July 9.

Suciu said the money will be used to pay overtime for a directed police patrol program aimed at reducing criminal activity in areas of the city that have shown the highest levels of calls for service.

He said the grant is a reimbursement grant with a "no match" requirement, which means after the department spends the money for the overtime under the agreement the federal government, will reimburse the cost up to $13,964.

Suciu said once the application is accepted the department has two years to use it. The last JAG the department received was in 2007. It was paid up front and was also used to reimburse overtime for similar patrol projects.

"That one is pretty well spent and this one will enable us to do the same kinds of projects when we have a problem," Suciu said.

Other municipalities in Franklin County eligible for the JAG include the cities of Columbus with $460,447, Gahanna with $10,913, and Whitehall with $23,782.

dowen@thisweeknews.com