By MINDY MCKENZIE
Daily Globe Staff Reporter
SHELBY- As the month of February moves right along, salt bins in the city are typically dwindling at quick rate this time of year. However, that is not exactly the case this winter season.
Utilities Director John Ensman explained so far this salting season the Service Department has spread 625 tons of salt and there have been 19 salting events.
Ensman said there is about 1,000 tons of salt in storage.
“Even though it has been a fairly mild winter, there have been some times where would receive an inch or less of snow that would create slippery road conditions that required the crews to apply salt to the roads. This happens more often in the evening, night or early morning hours when the sun is down or just coming down. The sun will help melt the snow and ice from the roads,” Ensman said.
Throughout the last five years the city has spent approximately $363,000 on salt purchases. Ensman stated on average, about $70-75,000 is spent per year on salt.
The budget to purchase salt is about 1,600 tons per year.
“Historically, 1,600 tons is about the average amount of salt that is used to treat the roads,” Ensman said.
After salt is purchased for the year, Ensman explained whatever amount isn’t used is stored in the city’s salt bin and used for the following year.
“We will keep the salt in stock for future use,” Ensman said.
As far as mild winters, Ensman explained this can make an extremely positive impact on this city.
“A mild winter can definitely have a positive impact on the budget, as less money will be spent on salt, fuel, equipment repairs and labor expenditures,” Ensman said.
Over the course of last year, Ensman explained the crews spread about 1,600 tons of salt. When the season was completed, there was approximately 300 tons remaining inside the storage bin.