Communities prepare for salt shortage this winter

salt mont county
Preparing for winter salt shortage (WDTN photo)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Although the temperatures are dropping, we’re still weeks away from any measurable snowfall.

Communities around the Miami Valley are already mobilizing, ahead of another anticipated salt shortage this winter.

People who live in Beavercreek may be in for a rougher ride than they’re used to this winter. When it comes to the roads, the city’s policy has always been all pavement, all the time. Until now.

“We’re going to go into the season with the possibility of not even salting half of our streets, which is a huge departure from the past” said John Woltja, Beavercreek street superintendent.

Beavercreek, like many of its neighbors, is planning to only salt the main roads when the snow falls. Cul-de-sacs and smaller roads will still be plowed, but there will be nothing between your car’s tires and the road.

It’s all a result of a salt shortage that started last winter. Due to high demand and low supply… there’s less salt available… and cities are paying more for it.

All of the municipalities we’ve talked to have a similar strategy: more pre-treating.

“When we go in and plow, hopefully we can plow the snow up and it won’t bind into the pavement” said Woltja.

In a video posted to the city of Vandalia’s website Thursday, the director of public service said his crews will be adding a chemical to the salt this year to help stretch the supply.

Rob Cron, says Vandalia will only get about 300 tons of salt this year, about a quarter of the usual supply. And crews will have to make it last all winter.

“We have purchased some new equipment this year, with new controls that will help us monitor our salt usage, and conserve it as well. That’s going to be one thing. We’re going to cut back on the amount of salt we use” said Rob Cron, Vandalia director of public service.

In Englewood, the city manager says there is enough to get through a routine winter, if they’re careful.

Everyone we talked to has the same message for residents: be patient. They will do the best they can to keep the roads from getting too slippery.

“sometimes it’s better to have some snow on the street to help you to be able to get some traction, than to actually plow it off and

We also called Centerville, where city leaders say they’ve received their last shipment of salt for the year. They tell us they are “cautiously optimistic” it will be enough.

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