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Salt supply looks good in Fox Chapel area communities

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Despite an above-average snowfall so far this season, road crews across the Lower Valley are confident that salt supplies will see them through the end of winter.

“We've used more than we typically use up to (this) date,” said Indiana Township Manager Dan Anderson. “We've had more call-outs with the smaller snowfalls. But in the later part of the winter season we may have less of those, so overall we might come out steady.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Rehak said there were 10 major snowfalls so far, about double the norm for this time of year. Crews should skirt any plowing or salting this coming week, with weather forecasts calling for a high in the 40s heading into the weekend.

In Aspinwall, public works supervisor Lee Albacker isn't concerned about supplies. The storage shed off Freeport Road is stocked with 324 tons of salt, with money slated in the budget for up to 180 more tons.

“We're up over 50 percent of what we usually use at this point, but everything's stocked,” he said.

Smaller, but more frequent snowfalls use more salt supply than a heavy storm.

“With a big snowfall, you plow it and then you salt once,” he said. “These little two-inch snows every couple days use up your supplies.”

Blawnox manager Sherry Kordas said the borough received a shipment on Friday to replenish the salt shed.

“We're good,” she said, adding that budgets are on track with last year.

With the weather not entirely predictable, Kordas said there's not much to do besides keeping the supply full.

“Sometimes when they say it's coming, we don't get it and other times we get more,” she said. “We're not that big so we don't use as much as some others but we'll do what we need to do to keep the roads safe.”

Lou DeLuca, Sharpsburg councilman, said he has ideas to stretch the salt if the stock runs low heading into February.

He suggested that public works crews use salt only at intersections in flatter parts of town if supplies become critical. It's nowhere near that point yet.

The borough has used about half of its supply, or 90 tons.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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