Some municipalities have sufficient salt

Unusually long, cold and snowy conditions have combined for a perfect storm of misery throughout a great deal of the country, and unexpected salt reserve depletions only add to the problems.

While many local municipalities are facing shortages, some appear to be okay.

Nancy Gabel, Brokenstraw Township secretary, said on Tuesday, “We’re doing well.”

Many townships buy their salt from Morton Salt, a brand name that most people associate with food.

Lea Ann Adams, secretary for Pleasant Township, said the township buys salt through an annual bid process through the state. “We sign up at the beginning of the year for so many tons, and they deliver it as needed. We are obligated to buy at least 60 percent of the bid, although we can buy more if we need it,” she said.

“We’re okay at the moment, and we have an order in. They told us it would be ten days, and that was last week,” she added.

Julie Parmenter of Pine Grove Township also said they were fine. They also put it out for bid, and bought from American Rock Salt.

Kathleen Swartz of Conewango Township said she is currently “filling out paperwork to borrow salt from the state.”

The City of Warren is feeling the pinch, according to Public Works Director Mike Holtz. “We are really low. We’re able to secure a couple of hundred tons from PennDOT, which should last, depending on the number of storms. We’ve used a lot this year, and PennDOT is being a good neighbor.”

He added that the city has about 45 miles of roadway.

Asked about salt resources in the area, Wes Hess, maintenance manager for PennDOT, said, “We’re good. The amount we have on the ground is enough to last us through the winter. We feel pretty comfortable, enough so to help out the city.”

According to Morton Salt’s website, salt lowers the freezing point of water, forcing ice and snow to melt. However, if too much salt is applied, the water will refreeze.