Winter Weather Costs Adding Up

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By WSIL Manager

WSIL -- After several snowstorms already this season, local towns are seeing their winter costs spike. Salt piles are quickly depleting, and they're getting expensive to replace.
 
In West Frankfort, the street department says it needs another shipment of salt, making it the third order for the winter season. Street Superintendent Roger Stanley says in the past couple of years, West Frankfort only ordered about 60 tons and that was more than enough. Now, this next shipment will put the city at 190 tons. And as the demand goes up around the country, Stanley says salt is getting harder to find and more expensive.

"It's just hard to get. We're getting none from around here. The highway department that we was getting it from, they're low, so we're having to get it from Little Rock, Arkansas."

Stanley says their normal $4,500 salt budget has more than quadrupled. If the street department gets the okay to ship in another 60 tons, they city will have spent more than $20,000. The West Frankfort City Council will discuss the proposal Tuesday night during their regular session. If approved, the money would come out of the motor fuel tax program.
   
And in Marion, Mayor Bob Butler says the increase has not yet broken the budget, but it's getting close. Last year, the city bought more than $13,000 worth of salt, but this year the street department has spent more than $30,000.
    
And with winter storms plaguing the northern half of the state, replenishing the salt reserves has proven difficult.

"Salt is at a premium in a year like this, because so many areas have been hit with storms and all. So we have to put our name in the hat as soon as we can," explains Butler.

With the recent addition of 400 tons of salt, Mayor Butler says that puts Marion at a total of 800 tons. He hopes that will last the rest of the winter.
 

Marion Regional
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