The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

February 4, 2014

Salt is a precious commodity this winter

Elwood, Alexandria have used state allotment

ANDERSON – With another winter blast hitting Madison County, local cities are working to meet the increased demand for salt and sand to keep streets and roads passable.

Elwood and Alexandria have enough salt to possibly last through the weekend, with no promise of additional supplies in the future.

"It's horrible," Jim Robertson, commissioner of the Elwood Street Department, said Tuesday. "I may have 20 tons remaining."

Elwood has used its allotment of salt from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

"I've called every supplier. There is nothing to purchase," Robertson said. "I believe the suppliers are concentrating on the larger communities. Normally I can get a supply from Morton Salt, but they said nothing is available."

Robertson said he did find salt in Texas at a cost of $190 per ton, which doesn't include the shipping costs. He said the city was paying $65 per ton for salt.

"I'm going to mix the salt I have with some limestone chips to make it stretch further," he said.

Robertson said a problem for Elwood is that there is no place to store sand out of the weather. The sand freezes and can't be used on the streets, he said.

Alexandria Mayor Jack Woods said the city has received its final allotment of salt for the year and has between 20 and 25 tons remaining.

“We cannot get another shipment,” Woods said. “We are using salt mainly on intersections only. We will be mixing more sand with the salt. Hopefully it will get us through.”

Woods said the city hasn’t considered options for obtaining more salt.

“We want to get through this storm and then we will reassess our options, if necessary,” he said.

Brad Land, commissioner of the Anderson Street Department, said the city had 400 tons of salt as of Tuesday. He said the city is hoping for another shipment by the weekend.

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