Officials: City to be conservative with salt use this winter due - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Officials: City to be conservative with salt use this winter due to rising costs

In an average year, ODOT uses 630,000 tons of road salt. Last winter, it used more than a million. In an average year, ODOT uses 630,000 tons of road salt. Last winter, it used more than a million.
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Higher salt prices are expected to put a strain on the budgets of some local governments this winter, with some paying more than double last year's prices.

According to Hamilton County Engineer Ted Hubbard, the county only received one bid. That was for $106 a ton, compared to last winter when the county paid $46 a ton.

Hubbard said the higher prices are reflective of the supply and demand issues as a result of last year's harsher winter.

In an average year, ODOT uses 630,000 tons of road salt. Last winter, it used more than a million.

Newport used much less, but paid a premium toward the end of last winter, due to storage issues. The city did not have a salt barn or shed, so it was forced to order salt on an as-needed basis. City officials said they paid $68 a ton for the first 900 tons it used last year, but $220 for the last 203 tons.

The City is finishing construction on a new salt shed and expecting to pay $78 a ton for all of its supply.

Cincinnati is expecting to pay a similar price, its bid was returned at $75 a ton for 40,000 tons. That's 15,000 tons less than the city used during last winter. If this were to another harsh winter, city officials said they would have to buy more salt later in the season, likely at a higher price. To keep that from happening, they said they plan to be much more conservative with road salt usage during early winter events.

Experts say the prices are higher this year because salt companies are trying to replenish supply, while responding to large demand from buyers.

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