A-K Valley well-stocked with road salt despite snowy start to season
Although the region was pelted with more snow than normal in December, road salt reserves remain plentiful.
Local salt supplies have more than weathered the 10 major snowfalls so far — about double the normal amount this time of year, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Rehak.
And expect more salt usage to handle snow forecast for late Wednesday evening into Thursday.
But residents need not fret: Municipalities either have salt left over from the light winter last season or had no problems ordering new supplies.
Avonmore just got a load of 25 tons last week.
“We haven't used much more than last year,” said Les Snyder, Avonmore's road maintenance supervisor.
Same thing in Buffalo Township: “We're in real good shape,” said John Gaydos, township road master.
The rural community has used about 500 tons of salt in December and has another 500 tons coming in.
“We're a little bit over from what we normally use,” he said.
“But it's still early in the year,” Gaydos said.
Floyd Newingham, Arnold's city clerk, said the city carried over 200 tons from last year and put in a new order in November that should shield the city from any impending snowstorms.
“We did start a little earlier than usual for the snow,” Newingham said. “But there were no excessive amounts to treat,” he said.
Newingham is not concerned about the road-salt market: The city is one of a number of local governments that gets a slice of the bulk buying of the COSTARS program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
“The main benefit to local government is they don't have to individually go out for a bid,” said Bruce Beardsley, marketing manager of COSTARS.
“They are piggybacking on a state contract. We accumulate all the demands of the communities and go out for bid for huge quantities,” he said.
COSTARS' contract with American Rock Salt covers more than 1,500 municipalities, as well as PennDOT, with more than 700,000 tons among the communities. The current contract has an average price of $58.36 per ton, a five percent drop from 2012-13, according to Beardsley.
The additional snow this year and demand from COSTARS communities and other customers have been good for American Rock Salt.
“We really have a winter this year,” said Ann Blake, chief financial officers for American Rock Salt Holdings in Mt. Morris, N.Y.
“The early winter has been a blessing,” she said.
As the last two years have been “light” winters, Blake said, “I think people got lulled into a lack of snow.”
Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh man taken for wild ride on Route 28
- New Ken raid nets 2 suspects, $4,000 in drugs
- Suspect admits to arson in Harrison
- Freeport High School students rise to the challenge
- Highlands extends superintendent’s contract for 3 years
- Allegheny Valley board approves contracts for assistants
- Alle-Kiski seniors attend Walk the Red Carpet event
- Retired New Kensington attorney Robert McVey spent life helping people
- Mia Z voices no regrets after failing to advance on NBC show
- Grateful Deer Lakes alum donates artwork
- Turbine touted as ‘green’ to power historic Penn Township barn