Road salt supplies are "holding steady" in Reynoldsburg, despite the fact more than 40 inches of snow have fallen this winter.
Service Director Nathan Burd said the street department has been busy clearing snow-covered streets but residents must understand it is their responsibility to clear snowy sidewalks.
Burd updated city leaders on salt supplies at Reynoldsburg City Council's Feb. 10 meeting.
He said 400 to 500 tons of salt remain in the city's storage barns.
"We have 500 more tons ordered, which we hope to get in soon, but we are told that the demand for salt is higher than it has been in decades," he said.
The price of salt is expected to go up by the time Reynoldsburg's salt contract expires, Burd said.
"It is about $48 a ton right now and we will be purchasing more at that price before it goes up, so that we can get a head start on next winter," he said.
Burd said the current contract will get the city through the first part of this year.
"Our next contract will be in July, but we expect the price per ton to go up," he said.
The city salt barns can hold close to 3,000 tons of salt.
"We bought close to 2,000 tons this year and can buy another 1,000 tons, I think at the lower rate," Burd said.
Council approved a contract with North American Salt Co. in September 2013 to buy salt at $48.72 a ton. At that time, the city had 2,000 tons in storage.
Former councilwoman Monica DeBrock praised the street department for its snow-removal efforts but said snow-covered sidewalks are forcing students to "take to the streets."
"Shoveling the sidewalks is a safety issue," she said. "I have seen many students walking in the streets because the sidewalks were not clear. The continuous cold this winter means the snow is not melting away after a snowfall.
"It is not acceptable to have students and people walking in the streets," she said.
DeBrock said the city's code-compliance officers should enforce a city law that says residents must keep their sidewalks clear.
"We should have code officers enforce at least the main streets and the ones near the high school," she said.
Burd said code officers have been distributing notices to remind residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks.
"We are posting notices and asked our code officers to concentrate in neighborhoods around the schools," he said.
"We know that the sidewalks are not an easy task this time. I talked to a man on Lancaster Avenue who was trying to shovel his sidewalk, but could barely get through a frozen ice block.
"We are trying to educate people on the sidewalk issue and the fact it is their responsibility to clear them," he said.