Lakewood’s Got a Salt Surplus This Winter
WIth only a handful of snowstorms this winter, the city's got plenty of leftover salt.
There have been only three snowstorms so far this winter.
That’s mean there’s lots of leftover salt, typically poured on the city’s streets to keep them clear during bad weather.
Starting at the beginning of winter, there were 4,000 tons of salt on-hand for the city's streets division.
Usually, the city would have ordered a few thousand additional tons throughout the season.
Not this year.
“It’s been a mild winter,” said said Pat Lewis, the city’s division manager of the streets. “We’ve still have had some times when we’ve had to go out for slippery and icy conditions. But, this is the mildest winter I can remember.”
A huge dome, near Lakewood’s wastewater treatment plant on Metroparks Drive, still holds half of the salt that the city started out with.
The city buys its salt — at about $45 per ton — through a purchasing agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
However, the city committed to purchase at least 5,000 tons of salt, as part of the agreement.
“We still have to purchase a minimum amount,” Lewis said.
Even if it starts snowing tomorrow, the city “will still have some leftover” for next winter, Lewis said.
“This year we will be in fine shape.”
Lewis added that with fewer snowstorms, the city has also saved in labor costs.
“There hasn’t been as much overtime,” he said.
Lewis, who has worked in the streets department for 18 years, said he can’t remember a winter like this one.
“There’s no way of knowing how much more snow we get,” he said. “I’d say we’re due for at least one major storm. I can’t imagine we’d continue through April and not have something happen.
“But, who knows.”