Medina residents pitch in to buy road salt

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) - The city is running out of money to clear snowy streets, so residents are sending donations to buy salt.
Mayor Jane Leaver is writing thank-you notes to about 60 people who have contributed $1,231.50 so far to the city's salt fund.
Several of the checks were for $36.50, the price of one ton of salt, said Service Director Nino Piccoli. Some residents sent in as much as $100, Leaver said.
The donations began when the city announced it would only be able to salt hills and intersections.
Medina is struggling under a $4 million budget shortfall that is forcing it to cut services, but the snow keeps coming. Across northeast Ohio, cities are reporting snowfall totals that have already exceeded the average for an entire winter.
Piccoli said it takes 400 tons of salt -- $14,600 worth -- to make one pass through the city. So far this winter, the city has used 3,200 tons, at a cost of $116,800.
Earlier this month, a resident wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper suggesting that motorists pick up the slack by  donating $5 to cover the costs of road care.
Stop-N-Go Food Stores contributed $100 and has collection
canisters in its three stores in the city. Newspaper ads pick up on the "Got Milk" campaign asking, instead, "Got Salt?" and employees are wearing "Got Salt?" buttons. The stores will collect through March 31.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)