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Salt Prices Increase this Year

The City of Springfield is ready for whenever winter precipitation arrives. But, if winter is worse than anticipated, the city will face higher prices for additional salt they might have to purchase. Michele Skalicky has the story.

The chilly weather this week reminds us that winter weather isn’t too far away.
Sound of BackhoeAt the city of Springfield’s Public Works Service Center, employees have been working to get ready for ice and snow all summer.
The city’s main salt dome on the Center’s campus is filled with nearly 3000 tons of salt, and salt is being received at the shared city/county dome near Battlefield and FF, which can hold up to 9000 tons.
Jonathan Gano, superintendent of streets for the city of Springfield, says when deciding how much salt to purchase, they look at the historical average for the last 14 to 15 years.
The city is currently receiving salt supplies from a company in Kansas. Their next contractor will be a company out of Illinois.
But he hopes they won’t need more than they already have purchased for the coming winter. That’s because there’s been a significant increase in the price of salt this year.
According to Gano, salt prices have been going up for the past year. He points to a decline in productivity in salt mines as well as a huge supply reorder from northern states and municipalities.
According to Gano, last year several area municipalities ran out of salt and weren’t able to restock because of the heavy re-supply orders from other states.
But for now, Gano is optimistic the city’s current stockpile of salt will be enough. He says they believe they have an adequate supply for normal usage conditions.Gano says they’ll calculate their salt usage carefully because every ton they use will cost them double to replace. But Springfield is better off than other communities across the country. Many towns are finding that they’re not able to purchase all the salt they need. The shortage could force many cities to salt fewer roads or to switch to less expensive sand or a blend of sand and salt, which is not as effective as salt itself.