June 27, 2016

Partly cloudy

Cities going light on salt as shortages hit across state

Road crews in Medina County’s largest city will be using salt sparingly over the next few weeks in an effort to help saltless communities in Cuyahoga County.

The Ohio Department of Transportation reported that most of Ohio is experiencing salt shortages. As a result, Brunswick Service Director Pat McNamara said the city will ration its salt.

“We’re still good for a couple of storms, but there are communities in Cuyahoga County that are not being served,” McNamara said.

Communities like Lakewood, haven’t received any salt, McNamara said, and because cities get their salt through a state bid, the state is putting salt orders to communities like Brunswick on hold while it fills orders in areas that have depleted their reserves.

“They just advised us we’ve got to help each other out,” McNamara said.

Brunswick received a shipment of 200 tons of salt on Monday morning, bringing their salt reserves to around 1,500 tons, but McNamara said the city can use about 600 tons during a snowstorm like the one that hit last week.

So for the time being, with little precipitation in the forecast, McNamara said the city will only be salting major intersections, hills and bridges, to maintain its salt in case another storm comes before another shipment of salt.

“We’ve got several more orders (for salt) placed, but we don’t know when they’ll arrive,” he said.

Medina also is trying to conserve salt, city Service Director Nino Piccoli said.

“We’re being a little more frugal. We’ve been kind of restricting applications recently,” he said.

Piccoli said three tractor-trailer loads of salt, totaling about 66 tons, were delivered Monday, bringing the total on hand to between 600 and 700 tons — about 40 percent of the full capacity of about 1,600 tons.

Piccoli said the city spreads about 200 tons of salt for each snowfall.

“We’re OK for now,” he said. “If we get a big storm, it could be cause for concern.”

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through the rest of the week; however, there is no significant snowfall in the short-term forecast.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.