If city council approves, Reynoldsburg will take part in the Ohio Department of Transportation's purchasing program for road salt this summer to get a jump on replenishing supplies.

If city council approves, Reynoldsburg will take part in the Ohio Department of Transportation's purchasing program for road salt this summer to get a jump on replenishing supplies.

Service Director Nathan Burd presented a resolution to participate in the program to Reynoldsburg City Council's safety committee March 16 and the full council was supposed to vote on it March 23.

However, the March 23 meeting was canceled because four members -- Scott Barrett, Leslie Kelly, Cornelius McGrady III and Mel Clemens -- were unable to attend. The meeting has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 28, in council chambers at the Municipal Building, 7232 E. Main St.

"We think the winter is coming to an end, but we need to prepare for next winter," Burd said.

He said the city has 640 tons of salt on hand, but he would like to secure more before the end of the year. The city received information about the program during a March 11 conference call with ODOT.

Burd said council must pass the resolution by April 3 to be eligible for the program. The legislation will only signify the city's intent to participate in the program.

"ODOT needs to know how many communities are participating and how much salt they intend to buy," he said in an email. "Without that information, suppliers would be unable to know how much salt they would be expected to produce to fulfill the bid."

He said salt remains in short supply, so suppliers must have an idea of the demand before they can guarantee pricing and quantities.

"The salt you buy in spring and summer is what will get you out of the next winter," he said. "As service director, my biggest nightmare is running out of salt."

Salt prices have fluctuated over the years, according to Burd. Reynoldsburg has paid anywhere from $48 to as much as $150 per ton.

Passing the legislation would obligate the city to purchase salt from ODOT, he said. However, the city would have control over how much salt it buys through the program and would not be limited from purchasing from other vendors.

Burd said last year's "extremely heavy" winter resulted in a shortage of salt for many central Ohio communities this year.

"As a result, we were able to purchase much less salt than normal this year and we want to be sure to explore every available option for the future," he said. "Thankfully, we were able to manage our supply responsibly this winter and we did not run out of salt."

Reynoldsburg has the capacity to store 2,500 tons of salt, although it rarely reaches that amount.

"We always try to begin each winter with more than enough salt to get us through the challenging months and then we replenish when we can," Burd said. "We can use approximately 1,900 tons of salt during a typical winter."